Monthly Archives: April 2016

Baby, Silliness, and Flowers

Baby, Silliness, and Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.me
0-3 months, not sports related. ;)

I am so thrilled to report that baby Liam is doing great as is his mommy, Lauren!!! Things were a bit touchy there for a while but the last doctor visit proclaimed that Lauren does not have placenta previa, as previously diagnosed! Praise God!

She had also been bleeding quite a bit, which caused a bit of concern but that to is corrected! And if that weren’t enough, she no longer has to have a c-section to deliver Liam! Wow! When God heals, he does it good! :)

So our little bundle of joy is due to arrive in the first part of August. I’m so excited to be a

Baby, Silliness, and Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.me
See! Isn’t it adorable?!

grandma!!! I’ve been trying to keep control of myself and not buying all the cute little outfits I see. Lauren said that between what she and Brian got and what her parents already bought, she’s concerned that Liam would even be able to wear any more outfits.

I couldn’t help myself though. My kids love plaid; so when I saw this little plaid onesie, I had to buy it.

The other problem I have with getting him any clothes right now is that we have no idea how big he will be. At 19 weeks he was measuring at 19 weeks 6 days. Brian was 9 pounds 8 ounces but Lauren was a bit smaller, so who knows how big Liam will be. ;) So, I’ve got no clue, right now, what size clothes to buy for the warmer weather next year. I guess I’ll just have to exercise some control and WAIT! :D

Baby, Silliness, and Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.me
My sister Tracie was no help either; she said I would regret it if I didn’t get them.

Brian loves Star Wars. A couple years ago I saw the cutest little booties and I HAD to get them. So they’ve been in my closet ever since. Lauren saw them one day and I had to confess. :D

And look! They match the plaid onesie! :)

 

 

 

On Easter Sunday, Mike wore a button-up shirt and nice tie. We were at my parents’ house after dinner waiting for the others to arrive and Mike started acting really silly. He and Mom told me I need to get a picture of him dressed up, because it doesn’t happen very often. Then the silliness really ramped up. :D

Baby, Silliness, and Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meBaby, Silliness, and Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meBaby, Silliness, and Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meBaby, Silliness, and Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meEven Sean got in on the silliness! (These were taken with my phone and are not the best quality, but it documented the occasion good enough.)

On Christmas Eve, my brother-in-law, Mike, told us about this cool deal that a local florist runs. Basically you go in and buy a punch card for $20. This punch card entitles you to one small bouquet every month, free.

Mike bought a punch card for me for Valentine’s day. This week he brought home the third one. They last pretty long, about two weeks or so, but then they are spent!

Here is the bouquet he brought home this week. Thanks Babe! And thanks Mike for telling us about this neat deal! (Yes! My sister married a Mike too! It has made the last 17 years very interesting. ;) )

Baby, Silliness, and Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.me
The flash is a bit harsh on the white flowers, but you get the idea. Not bad for less than $2.

Well, I guess that’s all for today! Have a great weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Teaching Calendar and Curious Learning

Teaching Calendar and Curious Learning ~ Lifeofjoy.meToday I thought I’d simply share or remind you about a good website with some great links on subjects related to a particular date. It is called the Teaching Calendar and is on The HomeSchool Mom website. Today is the day Abraham Lincoln was assassinated so when you click on that link it opens a whole page of links to resources about President Lincoln, his life, his death, and namesakes. These links are coded so that you can filter the links for the age group you need.

Give it a look; I think you’ll find it helpful.

I will leave you with an article by Karen Andreaola about children’s curiosity and how to use it to their advantage.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Seven Tips for Curious Learning
By Karen Andreola

A pudgy one ’n-a-half-year-old holds his toy telephone to his ear, listening intently to its stop-and-go tune. He presses a button, talks gibberish—impersonating his mother remarkably well. He toddles across the room with his phone to his ear like his mother who tidies the house with a dust cloth in one hand, her telephone in the other. I laughed when I saw it. The toddler is my grandson. Not only is he cute, but he also provides a good illustration. Curiosity and imitation are active in young children. Children are sponges, natural learners, eager learners, nosey and inquisitive. This is what the nineteenth-century Christian British educator, Miss Charlotte Mason, aimed to safeguard in her students. She took advantage of this child-nature by tailoring a method of passing along knowledge that keeps the doors of curious minds open. Here are seven tips I gleaned from Miss Mason for a happy, curious lifetime of learning.

Tip #1

Choose individual books for general knowledge.

An author with a special interest in his subject will write a book with juicy details—details left out of a typical textbook overview. Such a book has the power to open the doors of a child’s mind in ways no textbook can, because it may be full of facts, the same facts found in a textbook, but the information is presented in literary form, in a more palatable and memorable way. An example of an author who delivers facts through literary genre is Holling Clancey Holling. You can find his books in most public libraries. They have been around since 1926. A student, the average age of 10, will be intrigued by the combination of story, facts, illustration, and extraordinary detail. Paddle-to-the-Sea, Tree in the Trail, Seabird, and Pagoo are four of his titles. Add up the details and it might surprise you how they surpass those of a textbook. A wealth of such books is available on a myriad of topics. Freely and confidently use them as legitimate schoolbooks.

Tip #2

Take advantage of the talking recourse.

When a child enters a first-grade classroom he is trained to sit still and be silent for long stretches of time. In the homeschool he has more opportunity to chatter. Like tapping a sugar maple for its sap, Charlotte Mason took advantage of this talking recourse. She replaced the classroom lecture with reading aloud. The authors of well-written, carefully worded books were the teachers. She believed in a child’s ability to narrate (to tell back in his own words what is read to him) to be an amazing gift that every normal child is born with—and the best way to gain knowledge from books. To spark a narration, use a short but meaningful passage such as an Aesop fable, for example. To get the quiet child to say more, simply ask, “What else?”

Over time, the skill and power of narrating will carry over beautifully to the student’s writing ability. Multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and true-and-false tests do not facilitate writing. In the homeschool we can replace these classroom conveniences and the teacher’s lecture with the intelligent chatter of narration from books.

Tip #3

Do some science in the fresh outdoors.

Lessons are only as long as they need to be in the homeschool. When one lesson is completed, the next is begun. With a student’s full attention, a string of lessons can be accomplished in nearly half the time of a conventional school schedule—and with no after-hours homework. Time is available for getting outdoors.

Once a week, my children and I would take a nature walk for firsthand observation. We’d record a nature find with a sketch of it, be it insect, wildflower, bird, etc., and keep a field guide handy to identify it. The find might be as common as a dandelion, ant, pinecone, or robin. “Look, Ma, a butterfly landed on my sweater.” Nature poems abound. The time taken to choose a relevant nature poem to be copied into a Nature Diary is time well spent for English.

Tip #4

Cultivate an appreciation for art and music.

I home-educated my three children through high school. These now-adult children meet with friends who were not home-educated and are sometimes struck with how words call to mind different associations. In conversation the name Leonardo was brought up in reference to a painting on a Christmas card. A friend blurted out, “Oh, I didn’t know Leonardo could paint.” She was referring to an American actor. My children thought this was funny. The sad part is that the friend knew nothing whatsoever about the Italian Renaissance artist, Leonardo Da Vinci.

A simple way to become familiar with some of the world’s greatest works of art is to open the pages of an art print book. Art appreciation provides children a storehouse of beautiful or thought-provoking images. Charlotte Mason recommends we display six pictures of one artist’s works throughout a semester. Let the children look and look and then describe what they see. No fancy or expensive curriculum is needed.

Music appreciation is just as simple. Pop in a CD of greatest hits of, Bach, Vivaldi, Scott Joplin, or Gershwin. Play a composer’s music while you wash dishes, travel in the car, draw, or give the little ones a bath. Classical pieces and folk tunes are part of our cultural heritage. Art and music appreciation will inoculate your students against grotesque noise and images they are sure to stumble upon in their lifetime.

Tip #5

Read history that has muscle.

In the homeschool we are free to look for heroes in history. History has much to teach us about the choices of mankind and the consequences that result. The sacrifices made, the human struggle for discovery, the perseverance of invention, etc. give us hope that there are people who care to make a contribution to the world, care about future generations. Who are these people? What did they believe? To keep history from being dull or flabby, its pages need to be inspiring. History with the muscle of right versus wrong will help children develop their own willpower to do what is right, to choose to follow God and to do it with all their might. We can highlight our history curriculum with “hero admiration.” The Bible, biography, and historical fiction can supply inspiring heroes whose virtues children may choose to emulate. “Character is king,” said Ronald Reagan. It was a priority with Charlotte Mason as well.

Tip #6

Instill good habits of quiet discipline.

The homeschool is an ideal place for instilling “habits of the good life.” Charlotte Mason tells us we can instill one habit in children at a time, keeping watch over those already formed. It is remarkable what routine and good manners will do for the atmosphere of the home. Saying “thank you” and “please,” sharing, taking turns, and waiting patiently can all become habit. Speaking the truth in love, using determination, counting our blessings, and remembering others in prayer are virtuous actions that do not need strenuous moral effort once they have become habit.

A mother strives to be consistent. She knows a habit needs her watchful eye until it is formed. The greatest care will be at the onset. But once formed, the quiet discipline it brings is worth all the effort.

Tip #7

Keep growing, Mom.

To keep from feeling weary or overwhelmed, the home teacher can take part in what I call “Mother Culture.”® Homeschooling is a parent’s responsibility and noble pursuit, but children need to see that there is life outside of homeschooling. To dabble in an interest brings refreshment to a mother’s soul. How about rummaging in your closet for the red wool you purchased three years ago to knit that hat? Let the children see that Mom can take her own nature walk, sew a curtain, memorize a psalm for Thanksgiving Day, go on a “field trip” with Dad, or enjoy any number of recreations of her choice that demonstrate to her children that life does not so completely revolve around them. Delicately pour into your cup diversions of the enriching kind—small portions yet regular servings. Keep growing into the person God is creating you to be. Your cup will overflow into the family circle.

Home educators know Karen Andreola by her groundbreaking book A Charlotte Mason Companion. Karen taught her three children through high school–studying with them all the many wonderful things her own education was missing. The entire Andreola family writes product reviews for Rainbow Resource Center. Knitting mittens and sweaters and cross-stitching historic samplers are activities enjoyed in Karen’s leisure. For encouraging ideas, visit her blog: www.momentswithmotherculture.blogspot.com.

Globular Grid Zendala

iamthedivacztThe Diva’s challenge this week is to use a round tile (or draw a circle on a standard tile) and draw latitude and longitude grid lines for the string.

Well, I got some zendala tiles either for my birthday last year or for Christmas the year before and this was the first time I used them. I drew my grid lines as instructed but clearly my lines were not even or the same number on each side but Oh Well, it is what it is.

Since the center ‘block’ of my grid was larger than the rest I decided to use Paradox in it. It got away from me somewhere and I ended up blackening in the center to compensate.

Then I decided to use Shattuck in the next two connecting spaces all the way around the center space. I chose to make them appear to be one section instead of individual boxes.

I knew I needed something light and airy for the next two sections around. I had recently seen Helen Williams’ The String Thing tangle video and thought it might be a good choice. I re-watched the video and then practiced a bit on a scrap piece of watercolor paper and then just went for it.

In the end, I had a couple of ends that were hanging but I think they were concealed good enough. I decided to add some shading to The String Thing to help cover for some of my scratchy lines, wonky lines, and overlapped lines.

From the git-go I wanted to include Cadent but wasn’t sure if that was my own idea or if the Diva had used it and thus made me think of it. I decided not to check and just go ahead and use it any way. It is one of the tangles I learned first and one of my favorites but I haven’t used it in ages.

Some sections were huge and wonky. Others were tiny and off kilter. ;) But I made it work. Since I haven’t drawn Cadent in ages, some of my line work is a little off but overall, I liked it.

I took one scan before I erased the center grid lines and before shading or adding in the blackened centers to Cadent.Globular Grid Zendala ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I felt that the tile was a little too light, so I added an interior blackened section inside each individual cadent block. Afterwords, I added some shading all around and it didn’t seem to be quite enough. Actually, I didn’t realize it until after I had scanned it in to post and didn’t like how it looked, so I took it back out and darkened in the rest of the outer edge.

Globular Grid Zendala ~ Lifeofjoy.meI really need to work on the consistent thickness of lines for The String Thing. Hers is amazing and doesn’t need any shading.

Well that’s it for this week. Once again, thank you so much for your comments; they really are encouraging. I really appreciate they time you take to leave them. (For those that don’t know, I did change the captcha so there is no longer any math to perform. ;) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Drop Biscuits

Drop Biscuits ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany and I made Minestrone last night and needed some bread to go with it. I decided to turn to this recipe I got from Dining on a Dime cookbook (which is available from LivingOnADime.com)

It is really simple and I almost always have these ingredients on hand. ;)

Combine 1/4 cup shortening, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup milk in a bowl.

Drop Biscuits ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Drop Biscuits ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Drop Biscuits ~ Lifeofjoy.meDrop Biscuits ~ Lifeofjoy.meBatter will be lumpy. Last night we dropped the batter on the ungreased baking sheet with our ice cream scoop to make larger biscuits. Other times we’ve used our cookie dropper to make smaller biscuits. It’s up to you and how quickly you need them done. ;)

Drop Biscuits ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe got eight of them last night. The recipe says it makes 10-12, so they are a little bit smaller than ours were last night.

Bake at 450º for 10-12 minutes. Since ours were a bit larger, we baked them for about 14 minutes.

Drop Biscuits ~ Lifeofjoy.meDrop Biscuits ~ Lifeofjoy.meDrop Biscuits ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo, if you need bread in a hurry, give these a try. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Do Something Special

Do Something Special ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is easy to do the same things the same ways, week in and week out. We can then start to feel that we are in a rut and desire some change, something a little different. Unfortunately I frequently make the mistake of wanting Mike to do that for me, rather than me blessing him. This should not be. ;)

Do Something Special ~ Lifeofjoy.meRecently I decided to do something for my sweetie that I had not done in a long time. I was amazed at how much he enjoyed it and how much I enjoyed it. It felt good to surprise him with something different, but it was something I knew he’d like. It is hard to surprise someone with something new and then they don’t like it though, so have a good back-up plan, just in case. ;) hee hee

Do Something Special ~ Lifeofjoy.meI guess I’m just keeping this short today, with the encouragement to do something extra for your honey this week. Maybe it’s a message or cooking his favorite meal/dessert or something special in your time alone. ;) Whatever it is, be intentional about it, meaning, don’t just read this and think, ‘yeah, that’s a good idea.’ Pray about it. Think about it. Decide what to do. And then DO IT! :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Fruit Trees

Two years ago we ordered some fruit trees. We went cheaper and got the younger trees, at least we thought we did. The pear tree had a much larger root than all of the others. We think we must have order that one a year older than the others.

Fruit Trees ~ Lifeofjoy.me
planted 4/22/2014

It’s looking good but still no blossoms. Unfortunately, all the other trees we got that year did not survive. There was a year warranty but they said with younger trees it was normal for them not to leaf that year, so we didn’t realize they hadn’t made it right away. At least one of the trees met its demise from Mike and his lawn mowing; he said he may have run over it.

Last year we saw some fruit trees at Sprouts, a local ‘farmers market’, as they call themselves. I call it a natural foods store. ANYWAY . . . they had a plum tree that Tiffany believed was a good one; she’d done all the research on the fruit trees the year before so I relied heavily on her for choosing the trees. We have lots of cedar trees and we needed to be sure we were getting ones that would not get diseased from them (cedar rust or apple scab). So, we bought one of the plum trees, brought it home and planted it near the plum tree we’d planted they year before, hoping that both would live.

This year the plum tree from Sprouts blossomed! I wish I’d have gotten a picture but alas, I did not. But I did get a picture yesterday of a little plum beginning to grow. See? There are actually several on these few branches. (It is still helped by the stick that it was tied to when we bought it.)

Fruit Trees ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was VERY hard to get that picture because the camera kept focusing on the neighbor’s chicken coop and everything, including the grass, except my precious little fruit.

So, this year we decided to try again and re-order the fruit trees. We wanted an Arkansas Black Apple tree because it is supposed to have SWEET apples. It supposedly needs three other trees with it for proper pollination; so we got it, two red delicious trees and intend to get a Pricilla apple tree as well, which is supposed to taste similar to a Pink Lady apple, as soon as there are any available.

We also purchased another plum tree and a nectarine tree. I prefer nectarines over peaches because of the fuzz on the outside of a peach. Sean and Tiffany do not agree with this but were vetoed. We ordered all of these a little older than what we had ordered before.

When they arrived, most already had leaves on them or at least leaf buds ready to emerge. We are pleased with these and glad we paid the extra bit for them being older.

When we planted them we made sure to put a good bit of mulch around each one so that Mike will not bump into these with his mower. We tried to keep them all in the same vicinity so as to cause as little interruption in his mowing method as possible.

When we went to Wal-Mart to get our mulch and extra soil, I saw they had some fruit trees. Only these fruit trees had blossoms on them already. We looked and one of them was an Arkansas Black! I couldn’t help myself . . . we bought it! (Allowance money put to good use.)

Fruit Trees ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Here are some of its blossoms! :)

Fruit Trees ~ Lifeofjoy.me

As if that weren’t enough, I was drawn to a peach tree. This particular one is supposed to produce LOTS of VERY SWEET peaches. We shall see because I bought it too.

The nectarine tree arrived with blossoms also!!! Nectarines this year! Woo hoo! I didn’t get any pictures of it because the blossoms are all gone and my camera does not want to take closeups of the fruit on the branches; it keeps trying to help me out and focus on the background. Ugh!!! I even have it set on plant. I guess I should have followed through on the New Year’s resolution to learn about my camera LAST YEAR. :D

I think this one is more of the apple tree. I was trying to find the fruit near the spent blossoms but don’t think I managed it. But it could be either the peach or the nectarine . . . I forget and it wasn’t that long ago that I took the pictures. Ugh!

Fruit Trees ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Well, I’ve rambled long enough for today. I need to run. I’ll tell you about the other things we got and show you some of the pretty wild flowers we have in our yard next time.

Until then, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Being Wife and Mom

Being Wife and Mom ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve seen a few articles online this week that were really good about following your child’s lead, how simplicity is better for children, and that being a mom is enough.

I found all of these articles to be encouraging and supportive of being a mother. They also had some good information on how just keeping things simple can be better for your children. If you haven’t read them, you should take some time to do so; they really are very good.

Now before I start this next paragraph, I want to establish that I understand that both of those websites focus on motherhood. I get it. But . . . I’m concerned about one thing . . . the husband. I know from experience that the husband can feel that he is less important than the children. :(

If I HAD to choose one: wife or mom, I’d pick wife! Yes, I adore my children and am very glad we have them but I loved my man first. He is my best friend. He was not just a means to an end, i.e. a way to get children; we had children because we love each other so much.

Unfortunately, I lost sight of that or it got buried, bogged down in all the demands of being mom. But let me tell you something dear heart, being a wife first enables me to be a better mom. There is so much I’ve learned, so much I’d do differently, if given the opportunity. But here I am with grown children, warning you: Please, please, please, make sure your hubby knows he is first place with you. Consciously make decisions that show him that he is more important than the children; yes, they have needs that at times, they cannot tend to, but make comments with corresponding actions, that show he is more important but that they have a need to which you must attend and then go back to him.

When he asks if you want intimacy, be sure you really understand his question. Could he be telling you he’d like to be intimate, if you are willing? Don’t let tiredness come between you. Find time during your day (children’s nap time or quiet time) to recharge yourself so you are not so exhausted at the end of the day. Don’t use all of that precious quite time for chores and then having nothing left to share with your beloved at the end of the day. Chores can be done while children are up, and you can include them  in the chores.

Finally, make it special when daddy gets home! Show him he is important and have everyone run, hug, kiss, and greet him! Let him know he was missed. Don’t just look up from whatever you are doing and go back to it right away. Engage with him and then you can back off, if he is the type that needs some peace when he gets home.

This post kind of overlapped with Marriage Monday but it is really important! Dad/Hubby is really important. Make sure he knows it.

Okay, enough rant. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

One Zentangle for Several

iamthedivacztIt is the first of a new month, so the diva challenge is a “use my tangle” challenge. This month’s UMT tangle is Fassett by Lynn Mead. Looking at the tangle I wondered what string I should use and then remembered that Tangle It! Pattern Club had a string “challenge” put up recently. It seemed like this string might be a good one to use, besides, I could then contribute to the group, which is a new facebook group I joined recently, in spite of my decision not to join any more zentangle groups. ;) :D

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meAfter looking at the string again, I thought it might lend itself well to the Square One: Purely Zentangle focus of Morse by Margaret Bremner. I am a fan of Margaret’s. She does such wonderful tiles and her website is great too! Morse looked rather easy so I thought I’d include it on this tile.

Then I thought I’d go ahead and see what WZTV’s challenge/focus is for the week. Guess what? It is Inapod which seemed like it would fit this string too.

So I have 4 challenges in one tile. I started by drawing string #4 from Tangle It! Pattern Club. Then I added the ‘hollibaugh’ lines for Morse. I thought Inapod just belonged on one of the wavy border lines of the string and then decided it would be fun to have Morse dropping the peas/dots into at least one pod. :) Yep, I did.

I know Morse NEEDS lots of blackened background to look good so I was trying to figure out what to blacken and where to put Fassett. I started Fassett in the lower right section created by Morse. OMG! I love how this tangle just unfolds as you follow the steps! It’s like magic and truly is a fun tangle to use. I think I may have to do another tile using it as a monotangle.

I blackened in the right side of the last strip of Morse all the way to the border. Then contemplated where else to put Fassett but the one section I did made me realize the other sections were too small to properly utilize it, so I blackened in some more. Okay, truth be told, I tried adding Fassett to the next black section above the Morse line and I drew it too big and knew I could NOT get it small enough to do the space justice, so I blackened it in. Yep I did!

Poor Inapod! I just did NOT do you justice. I think I may have tried this tangle before but even so, I just don’t seem to have the knack of it. I think it is the shading that trips me up here because the actual drawing of it is not too difficult. I’m going to have to go and look at all the Inapod submissions I’ve seen over the last year on the various fb groups to see HOW to shade this one right; I know others have done great things with it.

One Zentangle for Several ~ Lifeofjoy.meYes, I put that one lone dot out there on the right side. It just seemed like it should be there. ;)

So, in the end, all three of these tangles were new to me and I really enjoyed penning them. If you haven’t tried Morse or Fassett before, give them a try; they are really fun. But please do follow Margaret’s advice and give Morse plenty of black space surrounding it. :)

Thanks in advance for any comments that you find the time to leave. They really are a big encouragement! You all are awesome!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

 

Meat and Rice Skillet

Meat and Rice Skillet ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is one of Sean’s favorite meals. I don’t know why but he truly loves this. I don’t mind because it is really easy to make and today, I share it with you, my friend. :)

This recipe calls for two cups of cooked rice, so if you planned ahead, super! If not, no worries, put that rice on right away, so that it is ready when you are ready for it.

I’ve used all kinds of rice for this: brown, white, basmati, and even instant brown rice. All have turned out fine. I don’t think yellow rice would work though, too many flavors going on there. This is probably one and a half cups rice with three cups water but it might be one cup rice with two cups water . . . I don’t honestly remember because it was a couple of weeks ago that we made this. ;)

Meat and Rice Skillet ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext brown 1/2 to 1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey. As it is browning, sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and onion powder as desired. :) {I know, I used to hate that kind of measuring but seriously, just sprinkle on how much you like.}

Drain off any fat necessary. Add two-three cups of the cooked rice to the seasoned browned meat, along with an 8 ounce can of plain tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of water. (If anyone in your home suffers with heartburn from tomato products, you can add a pinch of baking soda and it will help with this problem.)

Meat and Rice Skillet ~ Lifeofjoy.meCombine. If the rice was cold, break up any clumps, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes, until heated through, adding more water as needed, to keep it from sticking to the pan.

Meat and Rice Skillet ~ Lifeofjoy.meMeat and Rice Skillet ~ Lifeofjoy.meSprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded cheese and let it melt. This day I had no blocks of cheese left; I don’t know what I was thinking! Thankfully, I had some thinly sliced deli cheese in the drawer. :)

Meat and Rice Skillet ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen serve!

I found this recipe online about ten years ago! It’s graced our table many times since its arrival. I just checked and found that it is still holding its place on the internet. She has some ideas to stretch this meal even further or to make it a bit healthier. (She also makes a couple of cute comments about the size and how many it feeds. Check it out. :) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Being Friends

Being Friends ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt has long been my opinion that one should marry their best friend of the opposite sex. Marriage is hard enough without being friends with your spouse. There is a point when those butterfly feelings of being in love flutter away; it is at this point when it is important to have friendship as your foundation.

I will add here that I believe you can work at your marriage to keep these butterfly feelings alive with date nights, small remembrances, sweet notes, and the such but over all, those feelings turn into a solid love that is dependable. {Notice I said I believe that it can happen? I have no proof. ;)} But I digress!

I believe that it is important to be friends with your spouse. He is the one that you want to share all your happy news with. He is the one you want to share your sorrows with. He is the one you want to spend all your days with, the happy ones, the sad ones, the boring ones, the crazy ones and every one in between.

Are you unsure about who you should marry? Well, let me ask you a couple of questions. When something wonderful happens to you, who do you want to tell first? When something bad happens to you, who do you want to share it with? Who is it that you cannot imagine never seeing again? How would you feel if someone else got close to that person? If this is a person of the opposite sex, then odds are high, this is the person you should marry. :)

By having God and friendship with this person as the base of your relationship, you have something solid a life can be built upon.

Have you and your spouse drifted apart? Take an interest in him and what he does. Show him you care about the things that concern him. Actually listen to him when he talks, show him you hear him and are trying to understand the things he’s talking about, even if it is outside of your knowledge bank.

I recently saw these other articles on being friends with your spouse. The first is an article on how to be close friends with the person you married. The second is from MarriageToday, The Secret of Being Best Friends.

The first step is to be friendly. It can be difficult to remember when we have so many things that need to be done but it is vital because it is hard to be friendly with someone that only tells you things that need to be done or are wrong with you or something that is your responsibility to fix. The first step in being a friend is to be friendly or kind. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº