Monthly Archives: July 2016

Still Waiting, Walking with God, and Chronological B90

Still Waiting, Walking with God, and Chronological B90 ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, as of yesterday afternoon when I wrote this, Liam has still not decided to leave the warm comfortable confines of his mother. I am ever at the ready to depart and await his arrival at the hospital. Consequently I have no pictures of my first grandson YET. ;)


I am ever learning to wait on and co-labor with the Holy Spirit. I have had some good days in this regard and some bad days, this week. Thankfully, I’ve had a couple of good days in the same week. :) This is progress.

This may be a new concept to some of you. Basically, it means that I am praying throughout my day and doing the things I feel that God is leading me to do rather than planning my day myself and doing things I think need done and when I feel like doing them. Some people will probably think this is weird but it is a level of relationship with God that some attain. It is basically communing with God all day long. Many ministers have done so in the past and it is attainable to anyone, not just preachers, evangelists, or pastors, although many pastors want you to think that you cannot hear God for yourself and that you must rely on them to tell you what God is saying, or what scripture means . . . but that is just not the case. If you pray in the spirit and read the Bible, the Holy Spirit will reveal its meaning to you.

Any way, it is a good practice to commune with God on a continual basis. In First Thessalonians 5:17 it says “Pray without ceasing.” I think this simply means to keep an open dialog with God throughout the day.

I’ve heard it reported that Smith Wigglesworth, a man of great faith and renowned for many people being healed and even raised from the dead, that he never prayed longer than thirty minutes at a time but never went longer than thirty minutes without praying. Now, I’ve heard this several different ways, so I’d have to do some more research to find out how true it is but it is a good thought, even if it isn’t accurate.

Still Waiting, Walking with God, and Chronological B90Last Monday, the 18th of July, I started a Bible reading challenge. Well, I don’t know that it is technically a “challenge” but it is definitely challenging. The goal is to read the entire Bible in ninety days. The twist with this plan is that it is read chronologically.

I’ve wanted to read the Bible chronologically for quite some time now, so when I saw this group that was following this plan, I knew I had to join. It is always easier when others are doing it too. Plus the group leader is taking the time to pray for each participant daily. Wow! What a blessing!

When I heard that, I decided I needed to pray for her as well. :) I’m haven’t been nearly as diligent as she is but I have remembered several times this week.

Well, that’s enough rambling for today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Encouragement ~ Lifeofjoy.meToday I just want to encourage you a little bit. You can do this. It is not too hard and there is no magical curricula.

You can do this, even if your husband is not an active participant in what you might consider the homeschooling subjects. He is still a homeschooling parent because he is educating his children in how to live life and be a good father and husband.

Mike did not help teach our children math or how to read but he taught them how to follow God and live their lives for Him. He was a good dad. He taught the boys his trade (so they will always have that to fall back on).

Don’t belittle what your husband does in regards to educating your children. Don’t push him to do more. Don’t think more of yourself because of the subjects you are teaching your children. It takes both of you to give them the well-rounded education they need, but it does not mean he has to do it like you do. He may just be educating your children by example and discipline.

And that’s another thing. Don’t make Daddy out to be the bad guy by using him as a threat to the children with things like, “you just wait until your father gets home, young man.” Your husband has been busy working hard all day. He does not want to come home and be the heavy hand. I’m sure he’ll back you up and agree with you. And I know it is hard to be the one doing so much disciplining but it really will all even out in the end. Remember, you are home with those lovely children twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It only makes sense that you are doing most of the disciplining and educating too.

You are also building a close relationship with your children. You are creating memories that they will have for the rest of their lives and ones you will cherish. No, you don’t want to feel like all you do is discipline them all day, but some days are just like that and are needful for the development of quality character in them.

It is good to fill your hubby in on what has happened during the day but don’t dump it all on him the moment he walks in the door. (Now, there may be an occasional day when it is necessary, but it should not be the default.)

One thing we did during dinner, for a long while, was to ask each family member what their high and low was for the day. It was always interesting to hear it from their perspective. Today, we still do something similar at the dinner table, we ask each member how their day went. It helps keep everyone in touch with each other and it makes you stop and really think about what you accomplished that day.

Raising children is not easy but it is definitely rewarding and worth while. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything.

I hope this is an encouragement to you.

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº


This is a deviation from my usual Wonder Wednesday post. Usually I post some pen and ink artwork-Zentangle. But as of the posting of this ‘article,’ I have yet to do any in the last week. I may yet get a tile done and if so, will attach it to the bottom of this post but if you’ve visited here very often, you probably already know that the odds of that actually happening are slim. ;)

This past week I had my love of crochet renewed. :) Lauren, my daughter-in-love, asked me to make her a crocheted diaper cover for her to take newborn pictures of Liam in it. She also asked for some crocheted sneakers.

When they came over last week, Lauren and I looked through pinterest for her to pick the ones she liked the most. We both liked that this pattern that has a ribbed upper section that makes it look quite nice.

Crochet ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s soooo tiny! :) I put my glasses by it so you could get an idea of just how small it is.Little Liam is almost here; so close it’s hard to stand it. But wait patiently I shall. ;)

The blue is unrealistically bright in this picture because of the flash but without the flash, it looked gray. This really is a nice warm blue. I used a dark blue button because I thought the contrast would be better than a button that might clash, since I didn’t have the yarn with me when I bought the button. (The button just slips between the double crochet stitches on the flaps to secure it closed; no buttonhole needed.)

IMG_3477Crochet ~ Lifeofjoy.meCrochet ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe top is where the nice ribbed pattern is. Unfortunately you cannot see it very clearly here. But, if you go over to the creator’s website, you can see how nicely it looks because she took some really good pictures. The pattern is at her website and very easy to follow. She also has matching booties and hat that you can make as well.

My mom made a cute pair of converse sneaker booties in orange and with OSU badge on the sides. Really cute! I wish I’d have gotten a picture of them, but alas, I did not. ;)

I’ve started the Nike booties she wants but not far enough into it that I have anything worthwhile to share yet.

I also crocheted a soap saver. Mike uses bars and bars of soap and it has frustrated me for quite some time that we waste so much in bits left over.

While I was searching the internet for the diaper cover pattern and booties pattern, I stumbled upon this soap saver pattern. I just used some leftover yarn I had here but will make it again with some of the recommended cotton yarn because I used it in the shower and it was a bit rough. Now it works just fine on those knees, elbows, and the bottoms of the feet, but it doesn’t feel so good on the softer parts of the body. ;) again I photographed it beside my eyeglasses for size comparison. I did add two rows to the length because I was concerned that a full bar wouldn’t fit inside it and that the smaller size might be cumbersome to Mike’s large hands. ;)

Crochet ~

Well, that about does it for me for today.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Mud Pie ~

Mud Pie

Cool summer dessert made with ice cream, Oreos, whipped cream, and chocolate . . . a family favorite.

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, I finally remembered to take pictures while making this yummy refreshing dessert! :) Brian and Lauren were able to come out for his birthday dinner last week and this was the dessert he wanted. It is the same one I fixed for Tiffany except that she had chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla bean. Needless to say, hers was much more rich.

The first thing you need for this super easy recipe is a package of OREOS! These are my favorite store bought cookie, so of course I buy the Family Package. :)

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou want to crush 30 of them into crumbs. I like to use a food processor to get them crushed up finely enough for the crust of the dessert.

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meBut as you can see, it doesn’t take the whole package . . . which is the point of buying the family size package. :)

Mud Pie ~ are more than 30 cookies in the regular size package as well, if you prefer not to have very many left over to eat. :) )

Next you melt the butter but don’t boil it; just melt it.

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meCombine it with the crushed cookies.

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.mePut half the mixture aside for later and pat out the rest along the entire bottom of the 9×13 pan. I use a measuring cup to pack it down and get it as even as I can.

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext open up the box of ice cream. I didn’t by the rectangular box so I used scissors to cut the box, so that I could have easy access to the block of ice cream.

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meMud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meMud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow I slice it into slabs about one inch thick and place on top of the cookie crumb crust.

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meMud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meContinue with the rest of the block.

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meWith the last piece, cut it into pieces to fill in the gaps as much as possible.

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meLevel it out so it is as much one even slab as possible.

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meI use my hands but you can use whatever works best for you. It is a cold job that must get done quickly.

Next pour the chocolate syrup (or fudge) over all and spread.

Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meMud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe used syrup this time but really prefer hot fudge sauce, only heated enough to get it out of the jar easily enough to spread.

Next spread the thawed whipped cream, evenly on top of the chocolate.

Mud Pie ~

Mud Pie ~

Cover with foil and freeze. (You may want to take it out of the freezer 10 minutes or so before serving for easy of cutting.) Sprinkle with remaining crumbs  before serving.

Mud Pie ~

Mud Pie ~

Mud Pie


  • 30 Oreos
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 jar hot fudge sauce or Hershey's can syrup
  • 1/2 gallon ice cream
  • 9 oz Cool Whip


  1. Melt butter.
  2. Crush cookies.
  3. Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Put half on bottom of 9x13 pan and pat down.
  4. Slice ice cream and lay on top of cookie crust.
  5. Spread chocolate over top ice cream.
  6. Spread thawed whipped topping over chocolate.
  7. Cover and freeze.
  8. Before serving sprinkle remaining cookie crumbs on top.

I hope you enjoy the sweet refreshing treat!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Blessing My Man in a Small Thing

Well, I didn’t make any progress on our bedroom this week. :(  A couple of months ago, I did take a step forward though. Mike had been frustrated with his clothes storage and asked me to help him. This was a struggle for me because I felt like it was his clothes and he should know what how he wants them. Besides, I had attempted helping him to organize his clothes before  but within a few months he was back in frustration and it looked like I had never organized it at all.

~ Lifeofjoy.meSo this time when he asked for help, I made the decision to continue helping him. Thus I decided to just start small. To begin, I emptied one drawer of his chest of drawers and proceeded to round up as many of his t-shirts and such that I could find. I managed to get 52 shirts in this drawer and he still had shirts hanging out somewhere else!

I had seen the KonMari method online and folded his shirts this way, as much as I could remember. (As it turns out, I didn’t really do it that way but similarly because done right, they should stand on their own but I needed space and just squeezed them all in.)

I had determined to keep on top of these, folding them appropriately and putting them in the drawer for him, as they are washed. But one day, I was putting away freshly laundered shirts and was amazed to find the drawer only half full. I wondered where the rest of them went because the laundry was all caught up. It is still a mystery as to where he has ‘misplaced’ them. As you can see, I have found a few more, since the drawer is more than half full currently.

At any rate, it has really blessed him that I fold and reinsert the shirts into the drawer for him and it hasn’t been much of an inconvenience for me at all. Yes, I do have to fold his shirts on a flat surface instead of my usual method and then I do take a few seconds to put his shirts in the drawer but it doesn’t take much longer at all. And it is soooo worth it for him to be less frustrated.

So, although I didn’t gain any more ground in my bedroom decluttering challenge, I did keep up the one thing I did get done. And that is good! :) But I do plan to make much more progress this week.

Until next week, God bless
Michele ºÜº


Rest, Birthday Celebration, and Liam is Coming!

Rest ~ Lifeofjoy.meAfter our busy week last week, we did not do very much over the weekend except to REST! Resting is very important!!! We take resting seriously around here. :D

I had forgotten, when I made our menu and bought groceries, that we would be having Papa John’s Pizza for lunch on Friday at the conference and scheduled homemade pizza for Saturday’s dinner. That did not go over very well here at Casa Coates and I had to do some quick thinking. Thankfully I had some chicken breasts in the freezer, because I don’t know very many recipes that use turkey pepperoni and some chicken sausage.

I perused the refrigerator and found not one but three bowls of leftover rice. These weren’t mere 1/2 cup leftovers either. One of them was wild rice but the other two were brown rice. I knew these needed to be used, and used quickly, so I made chicken fried rice. It is always a favorite of Tiffany’s. :) So I knew she’d be good with it. Mike and Sean just said to do whatever was easiest. That is pretty easy, so it was decided.

Rest ~ Lifeofjoy.meAfter church Sunday, we came home and snacked until later when I made San Francisco Chicken. Other than that, we rested some more! :) Sean and Tiffany had three late nights at the end of the conference, so it took a while for them to get rested. Plus the heat just zaps us and it has been HOT here!

In wonderful baby news, Lauren told me Monday that she’s dilated to a 3 and is effaced and baby is ready! Her doctor told her that she probably won’t make it to her appointment on Monday. Woo Hoo! I am getting all excited! :)

Birthday ~ Lifeofjoy.meBecause of busyness, I haven’t made Brian his birthday dinner yet. They were busy before the conference and then there was NO WAY during the conference, so they finally came out last night. We had meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, applesauce, and mud pie for dessert (which I will share on Tuesday).

Rest ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe had a nice visit. Lauren and I decided on which pattern to use for the crocheted diaper cover and booties she wants for Liam’s newborn pictures. :) I love to crochet, when I have small projects to do. For some reason I can complete little animals and booties and such but put me on a blanket or something else large and I just can’t seem to finish it. It must have something to do with me getting bored doing the same thing over and over and over again.

Rest ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe same thing used to happen when I was younger and would sight read a piece of music on the piano (I use these words in their loosest meaning). My mom plays keyboard and had sheet music around for love songs and such that she’d play for weddings. On occasion I would pick a piece and tediously read it and learn it. I found I loved introductions to songs but by the time you got to the actual song, the keyboard part was boring and I lost interest. I used to joke that I could have one full length piece of music by stringing together all the introductions I’d learned. :D Years later I realized that I probably would have done well with classical music because of its intricacies; I doubt I would’ve gotten bored. ;) Who knows, I may have an actual keyboard someday and teach myself to play. I do love Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”

Well that’s enough for today. Hopefully next week I’ll be sharing pictures of my grandson! Assuming I remember to pause and take some pictures rather than just live life in the moment, like I usually do.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Safe Books for Kids to Read

Safe Books for Kids to Read ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt used to be that when a book earned an award, it was pretty safe to say it was a good book for kids to read. Unfortunately that is no longer the case. Read this article for more information about this trend. The author states, “All the award winners published before 1960 display excellence in content and literary merit.”

So then, parents, guardians, grandparents, and caregivers are left with a problem. How do you know which books are okay for children to read and which ones are going to have stuff in them you don’t want your children reading about?

That is where book lists and the like become very helpful. There are several books out that are just about giving you lists of books that are good for kids. Honey for Your Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt, What shall We Then Read by Jan Bloom, and The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease are three books good book suggestions for your children and you. :)

I’ve listed a couple of websites that I trusted through the years on here before. But I recently found this one that I thought I’d share with you today. It is Wholesome Reads. When you get to the site there is a dropdown menu on the right hand side where you can select a category of book lists. I hope you find this website helpful.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Tangling Again

iamthedivacztThis week the diva challenge is to tangle on the move. I am a homebody and don’t go out that often, so my participation in this challenge will have to wait until later in the week. Of course, any that have visited here very often may probably recall that I don’t exactly do well with adding to posts after they have been published. ;) So I may not actually follow through and complete this challenge.

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meSo, I decided that I’d see what Square One was focusing on. To my delight, I found it to be B-Dylan which is a thistle-like tangle and a pleasure to draw. Unfortunately, it isn’t so easy to shade.

The Shading Zentangle group is focusing on the same tangle and suggest working on drop shadows.

The WZTV group’s focus this week is Xyp. I have come to terms with this tangle in the past, so I was glad to revisit it.

And finally, pattern-collections focus for the day is Plum-Lei. I was a bit skeptical of this tangle but found it easy and fun to draw. I believe I will be adding this one more frequently in the future. I do need to work on the proper shading for it though. I like it in its most elegant form without any added fill other than graphite.

I did forget to take a picture/scan it in before shading. There’s so little shading I didn’t really think about it. So here is my finished tile.

Tangling Again ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy string was simply the top and left lines of Xyp.

I’ll run for now. If I manage to get a tile done to participate in the diva challenge, I’ll add it here. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº




Egg Muffins ~

Egg Muffins

Low-carb breakfast that can help use up bits of leftovers and make a tasty meal.

Last year at the young adult conference at our church, we had muffins, donuts, yogurt, apples, and bananas. By the last day, I couldn’t take any more sweet foods, so I brought two dozen eggs and made some baked eggs. They loved them.

So, this year, we planned to have some egg dishes each day. I made those wonderful baked eggs on two days. For two dozen of them I scrambled the egg before pouring it in the ham lined muffin cups. One day I made a delicious crescent egg ring, which I will share with you one day soon. The other two days I made these egg muffins, which can be made with any ingredients you want or have on hand. It is a great recipe to take advantage of the bits of veggies or leftovers that need to be used.

I chose to use sausage and cheese in a dozen, sauted onions, mushrooms, peppers (red, green, orange, and yellow) and cheese in a dozen, and all of the above in two dozen.

Dice onion, mushroom, and bell pepper. Sauté in a bit of olive oil. (Today I sautéed it in bacon grease.)

Egg Muffins ~ Lifeofjoy.meMake sure your meat is cooked. During the conference one day, I used bagged bacon bits with the sausage and it turned out pretty good. :)

I sprayed my ramekins, since I was only making two this morning, otherwise I would have used a muffin tin, like I did for the conference. Spray them well!!!

Egg Muffins ~ Lifeofjoy.meCrack one egg for each muffin and scramble.

Egg Muffins ~ Lifeofjoy.meEgg Muffins ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd salt and pepper.

Add about one tablespoon of sautéed veggies, and one tablespoon of meat for each muffin. It really doesn’t matter much, it’s a forgiving recipe. :)

Egg Muffins ~ Lifeofjoy.meDivide it evenly between your cups, filling about 2/3 full. My ramekins are larger than the muffin tin, so they are only about half full.

Egg Muffins ~ Lifeofjoy.meSprinkle a little cheese on each and bake on 350º for 20 minutes or so. (Or 450º for about 12-15 minutes.)

Egg Muffins ~ Lifeofjoy.meEgg Muffins ~ Lifeofjoy.meEgg Muffins ~

You can add whatever ingredients you want. I’ve seen avocado, spinach, tomato, and broccoli. Really, anything you can think of will probably work. :)

Egg Muffins


  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon sauted veggies
  • 1 tablespoon cooked, crumbled/chopped meat
  • 1 tablespoon cheese
  • salt and pepper


  1. Crack egg into a bowl and break it up with a fork or small whisk.
  2. Spray ramekin or muffin cup with oil, coating the cup well.
  3. Add salt, pepper, meat and veggies to the egg and stir.
  4. Pour into ramekin.
  5. Top with cheese.
  6. Bake ate 350º for 15-20 minutes or 450º 12-15 minutes.


Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Clean Bedroom Challenge

Clean Bedroom Challenge ~ Lifeofjoy.meRecently Mike and I got rid of a huge pile of paperwork that has been in our master bedroom for quite some time. It is such a relief to have it removed.

I have been meaning to declutter my dresser and closet for some time but I am challenging myself to do it over the next several weeks. I am told that a clutter-free room enables a better more restful sleep.

I’ve recently, within the last three or four months, have started making my bed within the first few minutes of getting up each morning. It helps make the room much tidier and more inviting. I’ve also been getting dressed first thing each morning rather than after they guys head out for work. It seems to make a difference in me being more productive.

I read an article once about how God corrected the author’s attitude about cleaning the master bed linens. It’s a good short read. There’s this other article about 10 Ways to Create a Romantic Bedroom.

I’m not going to keep rambling about it. I hope you will accept the clean bedroom challenge, if yours has gotten a bit cluttered and consider making your bed every morning when your feet touch the floor. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº