Saturday, December 22, 2007


We had some wet snow a few days ago, and this is what happened! The horizontal icicles were amazing! Okay, so I know they didn't form that way, but what amazed me was that, as the ice and snow slid down the metal roof, it went so slowly that the icicles that once hung vertically, just slid around the overhang! Pretty wild, huh?!!

Here are the photos of my Christmas photo cd album. I just have to add this year's and a back cover. I have a few extra days, since we won't be seeing family until at least next weekend! I really like it, however I don't know that I'll be doing one like it again. Because there's no page protector, it's too easy for embellishments to fall off and the pages to get ruined... I think the other grandmother will get the same thing but with a 6 x 6 album. I think it'll look just as nice!

Still don't feel like I've gotten the hang of how to place my pictures! Unfortunately, until I do, they may not be in order!

Today we went to the Sunday School program at church. It was Owen's first time at age 3. He didn't sing at all, he just swung the jingle bells around that he was given! I was so afraid that his friend next to him would get it in the eye! Thankfully one of his teachers just grabbed it mid swing! Everyone was laughing! Part of me was embarrassed, part of me was mad! Ya see, I'm not the kind of Mommy who thinks my child not obeying -- those in authority over him -- is funny! I understand from his teachers that they (teachers) were told at the last minute that the kids would have the bells. So I don't think they had a chance to nip the swinging in the bud! I guess that's what rough and tumble boys do! He and Jared BOTH swing things around constantly at home! Drives me crazy! I did giggle a little when he layed down on the stage/platform when they were supposed to be singing! Some of the other kids were sitting down, so it didn't look too absurd! Just punky and goofy! Before that, he spotted me and yelled "hi Mommy!" That's my bold boy! My kids are very outgoing, and I guess at 3, it comes out this way! Jared and Nathan sang with the bigger kids Sunday School classes. Jared, of course, gave it his all! I usually get many comments about Jared's "enthusiasm" when he sings. Nathan also did well. He told me yesterday that he might like to act next year. Sounds good to me! My sister's girls sang in an all-girl quintet and sounded lovely! I have lots of pictures, but I don't know if any of them came out good. I'll post them at a future date. It's pretty busy around here!

Tomorrow we'll order Chinese for an early dinner (a first time for us -- maybe the start of a yearly tradition!) and then we'll head off to church for a candlelight service. Who doesn't love the magical glow of 600 (or so) candles reperesenting "the Light of the World" on Christmas Eve!! When we come home, Jim and the boys will finish their gift wrapping for me! We'll gather around the tree and sing -- after Daddy reads the story of Christ's birth from the book of Luke in the Bible. Last year Jim played Silent Night on his harmonica. This year Jared's been practicing the same song on his harmonica, so he might do that. Nathan was practicing a Christmas song on his guitar -- don't know if he's prepared to play or not! I dream of Christmas Eve with a piano -- and someone who can play! -- but for now, a harmonica, a guitar and angel voices are perfect! If I know Owen, he'll want to sing us a song. His favorite right now: "It's About the Cross" -- which, I might add, is exactly the message our pastor shared with us today. Jesus in a manger is wonderful, but it's not because of His birth that we're saved, it's because of His death.

We don't do Santa, but even for us, it's easy to get caught up in the gift giving/receiving that we might temporarily lose sight of why we celebrate Christmas! I hope that won't happen this year, and I hope it doesn't happen to you and your family!

Let me leave you with these words from the song, "It's About the Cross", The beginning of the story is wonderful and great, but it's the ending that will save you, and that's why we celebrate! It's about the cross... see the words to this song on my last post as well as hear it when you click here!

Have a very Merry (and peaceful) Christmas!!

blessings, joie

Monday, December 17, 2007


Merry Christmas 2007! We’re all doing well. I’m learning that people either love or hate Christmas letters. Here’s hoping that you love reading about what and how our family is doing year after year! After all, it’s only a select few that we have chosen to share our lives with! If not, don’t worry, it’ll all be over soon!

Owen turned 3 in September and is quite the strong-willed boy! He is adorable, loving, sweet, talented, outgoing, and smart! He loves pretend play, especially with Jared, and he loves ALL animals, live and stuffed! Everything is “so cute!” -- even Mommy! I just asked him what he wanted me to tell people about him. He said, “I’m a dog!” So, there ya have it! When someone asked him recently what he wanted for Christmas, he very confidently said, “I want a laptop and a guitar and a roller coaster!” And when he’s in a whiny mood, he tells me “we need BLUE Play-Doh” -- which he'll get in his stocking!

Jared is 8 and will be 9 in February. He’s Owen’s favorite playmate and Nathan’s favorite wrestling partner! Jared loves board games, football, baseball, singing, and drawing. We are so thankful to a dear friend from church who is teaching the boys the basics of art. She’s so encouraging to them, and he thrives on that! He’s always active and on the go. He has quite an imagination, and still enjoys pretend play. Did I mention that he’s also adorable, loving, sweet, talented, outgoing, and smart?!

Nathan, our oldest, will be 11 in March! His two favorite passions are cooking and football! He discovered Hardy Boys books this year and is reading them like crazy, along with a variety of other books! He also enjoys history, baseball (Go Red Sox), socializing, and Contemporary Christian Music. He’s learning to play guitar. He, too, is adorable (ok, “handsome” is probably a better word at 10 3/4!), loving, sweet, talented, outgoing, and smart!

Jim is hanging in there. He is still at FedEx Freight, driving nights. Sleeping days and working nights continues to take its toll on him. We remain hopeful that God will move him to days in the near future! He has recently begun working with a chiropractor and a naturopath to improve his overall health.

I am still passionate about scrapbooking, memory keeping, and paper crafting. We purchased a digital camera last spring, and I’ve been taking pictures almost daily since! It took me a while to go digital, but I finally did, and I love it! I recently started a BLOG, sharing ideas, pictures, experiences, etc. I add to it pretty regularly. Check it out at

This has been a trying year for my family. In March, my father had his 2nd hip replaced. In July, he had both knees replaced, plus he had shingles pretty badly at the time and a number of months after that. Then he just recently lost his brother.

We feel blessed to have all of you in our lives. We only wish we could see each other more often, but, in some cases it’s just not possible, so Christmas greetings will have to suffice.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2008!

Warm Christmas blessings,

The DeFayette Family

Jim and Joie, Nathan, Jared & Owen

Recently I discovered this Christmas song, and I just had to share it! Just click here so you can hear it!

It’s not just about the manger where the baby lay.
It’s not all about the angels who sang for Him that day.
It’s not just about the shepherds or the bright and shining star.

It’s not all about the wise men who traveled from afar.

It’s about the cross, it’s about my sin,
it’s about how Jesus came to be born once so that we can be born again.
It’s about the stone that was rolled away,
so that you and I could have real life someday. It’s about the cross.

It’s not just about the presents underneath the tree.
It’s not all about the feeling that the season brings to me.
It’s not just about coming home to be with those you love.
It’s not all about the beauty in the snow I’m dreaming of.

It’s about the cross, it’s about my sin,
it’s about how Jesus came to be born once so that we could be born again.
It’s about the stone that was rolled away,
so that you and I could have real life someday. It’s about the cross.

The beginning of the story is wonderful and great,
but it’s the ending that can save you, and that’s why we celebrate!

It’s about the cross, it’s about my sin,
it’s about how Jesus came to be born once so that we could be born again.

It’s about God’s love nailed to a tree.
It’s about every drop of blood that flowed from him when it should’ve been me.

It’s about the stone that was rolled away,
so that you and I could have real life someday.
It’s about the cross.

Here are just some of my favorite pictures from this past year. Nathan and Jared with the canon is from the trip we took to the Wilder farm near Malone, NY. Almanzo Wilder was the husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was his childhood home. The boys are watching an emergency call from the front porch screen door!
There are so many more pictures that I love from this past year, but I have to stop somewhere! Have a blessed Christmas and a healthy and happy new year! joie

Friday, December 14, 2007

First Snow of the Season

Here are a few pictures from the first {real} snow of the season. It hit us yesterday -- about 9". We're supposed to get considerably more late Saturday into late Sunday. Of course, that may very well change, as it usually does!

It's fun to come across old pictures! Here's an oldie! Two of my sisters and I sang at my cousin's wedding in the early 1970's. I thought it would be fun to post. {I'm in the middle}

This weekend will be busy with projects, so I may not post again until Monday. I can't believe Christmas is only 11 days away!! I've been putting off 'shopping', thinking I have plenty of time left! I managed to get some done online today. There's still more to do and more Christmas gift projects to complete! We won't be getting together with extended family for at least 2 weeks after Christmas, so I have a little more time!

Until next time, blessings!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I have a few of the cd "pages" done for my mini Christmas album. I embellished less than I originally had planned. I really like lots of embellishments. I like the collage look. But because there can be no page protectors on these, I have to be very careful that whatever is on a page doesn't cause damage to the opposite page. You may also notice that on '2002', the hole is at the bottom. That's because it's the backside of '2001'. My plan is to flip each cd page up as you open the album. I hope all this makes sense. The snowflakes on '1999' are made from craft foam with a Cuttlebug Snowflakes die -- it was cheap -- I got it from a seller on Ebay. I love the dimension of craft foam. I also used it another time for numbers for the date (not pictured). On '2003' I made a flower out of vellum. I love that look! The center of the flower is a small circle of craft foam again. The candies on '2002' are cut out from another piece of patterned paper, but I added dimension by raising the green one with a piece of craft foam that I cut in a circle a little smaller than the candy. I only have a couple more to do, then I'll show you the whole album put together. And then, I'll have to make at least one more for this year. I really want one for us, but I might wait until after the holidays.

I also included a picture of these adorable S'mores ornaments that I bought at Cracker Barrel last
January. They were really cheap, but I can't remember what I paid for them. I think it was 60% or 75% off!

Remember my 'bargain' with the rolled wafers that I got at Big Lots? Well I learned that they weren't really a bargain after all. I still like the price though, and they make a nice small gift for someone. I plan to include a hot drink mix or an ornament to go with it. I got the same thing only bigger -- almost 3 times bigger at Rite Aid. The regular price was $2.99 (still good, I think) but I got them for $2 because they were on sale!!! I might just go back and get a few more!

I finally put together my Christmas letter. I will be adding that to the blog soon. I will be including some of my favorite pictures from this year. The letter going in the mail will have only one picture of the boys. This year I had a hard time getting motivated to write anything, but after I got started, I had fun with it. In past years, the letter has come from the viewpoint of the boys when they were really little . In fact the first one I put together came from Nathan 3 months before he was born! One year I started the letter way early in the beginning of the year, adding to it as time went on. It made it so much easier to put it together in December. Next year, I hope to do the same thing so that I don't have to rack my brain so much!! I enjoy writing more about the boys' personalities and interests more than a laundry list of things we did. We don't DO big things. Our vacations are limited to going to Jim's mother's a couple times a year 150 miles from here!

Until next time...

blessings, joie

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cookie Baking and Eternal Life

Yesterday, we went to my sister's and my parents'. They live in a log house, and my parents have an apartment, originally made for my grandmother 20 years ago. We went with the intention of making cookies. Here are the boys cutting out yummy sugar cookies with my mother.

This evening, I go to the services of my father's brother who died last Saturday. It's always hard; my heart breaks for my aunt and my cousin. It certainly should make us all think about how fragile life is. Do we know where we will spend eternity? I know where I'm going. I say it with confidence because 17 years ago I put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross in MY place! He did it for you too. He wants everyone to accept His free gift of salvation and life eternal with Him. By believing in Him and trusting in Him as Lord and Savior, anyone can have that assurance. We are all sinners, we ALL need Him. There's nothing we can do, apart from Him, to get into Heaven. We will never be worthy. It is by His grace that we can enter.... Trust in the Living God today. Don't wait. Tomorrow may be too late...

blessings, joie

Monday, December 10, 2007

To add to the winkflash /wallet photos concern, the picture was trimmed to make it 'fit'. If you'll notice in my last post, Nathan's and Jared's heads/faces have been trimmed! That's not how the 4x6 looks! It's a bit embarrassing, but I'll have to use them, since I ordered 19 pages of 4 wallets (76)! More later...

blessings, joie

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Just a quick note... I had wallet-sized photos made of my Christmas photo by winkflash and I was NOT impressed! They're very small. Now, when I print out wallets on my office printer (I have a black & white laser printer, so I don't print out photos, but I printed them just to see how they'd look) they come out a nice hearty size, and there were 9 on a page! I won't be using winkflash for wallets again. However, they made a nice 5x7 for only .29. You have to do the numbers for yourself. The shipping goes up if you order anything other than than 4 x6 photos. ALSO, they're very slow this time of year. I ordered photos last Saturday, and I didn't get them until today (Sat.) Normally I have them in less time. If I need photos between now and Christmas, I'll probably go through Kodak Gallery and pick them up at my local pharmacy. Being that it's the weekend, I might not be posting again until Monday. We'll see. We're supposed to be going to a Christmas party at my parents' house tomorrow. However, my father's brother just died this morning... for those of you who would, please pray for my father, his siblings, and his brother's family. Thank you.

blessings, joie

Friday, December 7, 2007


I'm working on the cd album when I can. Since I didn't make it very clear, here's a picture of one in the making. I'm adhering photos and patterned paper on all of them before adding embellishments, ribbon, dates, words, etc. Because not all the photos I've kept over the years are the same size, each cd page of my album will be different. The picture isn't great, but hopefully, you can see enough to give you an idea. I'll post more pictures when I have another step completed. The ring I'm using in the picture may be bigger than I want. We'll see. Just a note, if you plan to use this as an 'album', as I do, DON'T use embellishments that might damage the photo on the facing 'page'. Just use flat embellishments like stickers, die cuts, rub-ons, etc. I might use craft foam die cut letters or shapes. Even though it's not flat -- it won't damage any photos.

Today the boys made bread (in the machine) and a batch of cookie dough. I still want to make Chocolate Crispy Treats tonight to bring to a party this weekend. They're made the same way as Rice Krispie Treats but only with chocolate crispy cereal -- I use store brand or Malt-O-Meal cereal for this. Just to add a festive touch, I'm going to melt red- or green-colored candy melts and drizzle it over the top. Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures!

BARGAIN ALERT: I LOVE these "luxury wafers"! They're those rolled-up super light cookie things with the creamy middle - choc. or vanilla. These are from Royal Dansk, the same company that makes those big tins of butter (or shortbread) cookies that have been around forever. There's 20 rolled wafers in this 4 3/4 oz. can, and it's ONLY $1.00 at Big Lots!! I plan to use them as Christmas gifts along with 'Cappuccino Drink Mix' in a jar. My husband wants something for a few girls in the office where he works. I love that it's inexpensive, but thoughtful! We've gone through a couple cans already, so I'm going to try and cover the can with patterned scrapbook paper and put in small, flat cookies! The can is about 3" across. My chocolate chip cookies are flat and chewy, so they might just fit in this can. Oh, I can't wait to get started!!!

blessings, joie

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cool Personalized Christmas Ornaments

On our Christmas tree this year, we have mini metal license plates with our names on them. YEARS ago, New York license plates were blue with yellow/orange letters. When Nathan was little his grandparents gave him a personalized USA metal blue license plate. I thought it was so cool and classic (most kids' personalized license plates are plastic) and found that it looked so great on the Christmas tree! But I didn't know where to find any more. Owen's name is extremely difficult to find in personalized items. So in searching last year after Christmas, I found a seller on Ebay who carries them Blue Sabre Inc. I love the way they look on the tree! Here's a close up of them!

That's all I wanted to mention this time! Until next time...

blessings, joie
Just wanted to share a few of my favorite scrapbook pages that I completed in the recent past. At the time that I'm writing this, I think you can click on each picture to see a super close-up so you can read journaling. The first is Jared and his favorite pasttime -- rope swinging! This is Nathan with his guitar that I he got for Christmas last year. He doesn't play near enough, but I just wanted to send him the message to play well -- as if he were playing for the LORD!
And last is Owen! When his speech is lazy, he says 'Q' for can you. He wanted me to weigh him, so he asked "Mommy, Q scale me?"
I've not created any pages, other than the calendar pages, since starting Christmas gift projects. Somehow they ALL involve photos! I love papercrafting whether it's scrapbooking or home decor! Of course, I continue to take pictures and have them developed!! I'm pretty happy with winkflash. I love how cheap enlargements and wallets are compared to other photo companies. The only thing is, their shipping is a flat rate of .99 ONLY if you have 4x6 or 4x5.3 prints. Even if you order the smaller prints, the shipping goes up! The fact that I can print so many sizes makes it worth it, however! Gosh, I think 4 wallets by Kodak Gallery is 1.99 instead of .39! And 5x7's from winkflash are .29 each!

Well, off to quickly make up leftovers for dinner! Until next time...

blessings, joie


I found this on a website and thought it was SO COOL! Here' a link where you can find it!87AB16D5179E5E4F!2368.entry

After printing a bunch of copies of The Bell, it might be a fun project for groups of young ones to do with their photo on the other side for a Christmas ornament!

The Bell
I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15)
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)

I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt.. 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation (Rom.8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil.3 :20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31-34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor.5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph . 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom.8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor. 1:21-22)
I am assured all things work together for good ( Rom. 8: 28)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6: 1). I am God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil. 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Col. 1:14). I have been adopted as God's child (Eph 1:5)
I belong to God !

Happy Wednesday! I'm about to embark on another craft/gift project. This time, I'm making a small scrapbook album with photos of my boys from the first one's first Christmas until now. That would be 11 years. It'll be held together with a ring or a pull chain, so that we can add pages to it as the years go on. Not certain yet if I'll be using cds for the album or chipboard circles or squares. Here's a photo of a cd ornament I made last night. I might leave the back bare since it's already shiny silver and will reflect Christmas lights! Today I made color copies at Staples. The copies will make it lighter and less bulky than photos.

One more thing. In the past, we've used a JESUS Stocking to put our burdens/sins in. On the video Red Boots for Christmas, Hans, the shoemaker asks Gretchen, the old and poor wood gatherer, what gift she would give to God for Christmas. Her answer was the same as she gives Him everyday, "my sins for His pardon". That makes me tear up every time! One brother might be struggling with another brother's bad attitude toward him or another might be sinning against someone else. He'll then write that down and place it in the stocking. Let me warn you that if you read these privately, they'll probably make you cry. However, if you tell your children that nobody except God will ever know what is in the Jesus stocking, I encourage you to dispose of them. But you might want to encourage them to confess to the one that they've been sinning against, be it you, a brother, friend and God. Of course, if we sin against ANYONE, we're also sinning against Him. I also tell my boys to write out blessings that they're thankful for. It's a great teaching tool. To make the stocking, I simply purchased a pre-made stocking from the craft section at Walmart. I cut the letters from stiff felt, also found at Walmart, and glued them on the stocking.

blessings, joie

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I found the book that I mentioned a few posts back: Away in a Manger. The illustrator is Terry Julien. It's a HAPPY DAY book. Here is the link to Christian Book Distributors (CBD)

I just thought it was so cute!

blessings, joie


I guess it did end up overlapping in the last post! Here is the picture again of Owen putting Rudolph to bed (in a laundry basket)! See the previous post for the story behind it and other photos -- one other relating to Owen and Rudolph!

Nathan and Jared are working like crazy in the kitchen creating gifts for me with my scrapbooking/paper crafting supplies. I'd love to take photos of them working, but then it wouldn't end up being a surprise!

blessings, joie

Monday, December 3, 2007

The post below was one I was going to add last night, with pictures, but I has a having a real problem staying connected! Ever since we went 'wireless', we've had more problems losing a connection! Last night it was the WORST! It would come and go in seconds! Anyway, here is the blog I wrote very late last night/early this morning. I'm able to add photos this afternoon!

**Hi! It's December already! I don't usually have the time to write on weekends with Jim home, so that's why you've not heard from me in a couple days! We put up our [artificial] tree on Sunday -- after the cheap stand that I've been using for years gave out on Saturday night. Thank goodness, we hadn't started decorating it yet!
Advent began Sunday, and we started reading Jotham's Journey to the boys -- Nathan & Jared. To Owen I'll be reading Christmas books. Tonight it was Piper's Night Before Christmas by Mark Lowry. Last night I read an adorably illustrated book with the words to Away in a Manger. It's upstairs in Owen's room right now, so I can't tell you who the illustrator is, but it's awfully cute! I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't do my Advent chain...yet. I decided that the 'Christmas story' wouldn't work for us because I read the story to them pretty regularly during the season with several different books. I wanted it to be different; memorable. So I decided to use the names of Jesus. Although it's already the 4th, I'm still going to put the chain strips together tomorrow (okay it's already tomorrow, but I haven't slept yet! I found a great website with 100 Biblical Names and Titles of Christ. There are more, but this list gives you 100. Alongside the name is a scripture reference, which is EXACTLY what I wanted! Here's the website I'll pick the 24 that make the most sense to a 10.5 yr. old, 8.5 yr. old and 3 yr. old! Can't wait to finish it!
I wish I could figure out how to put a photo near the text that it relates to. Since I can't figure it out, you'll have to do the puzzle yourself. I'm sure you'll figure it out!**

That was last night/very early morning. Now I'm back in REAL TIME! I just finished the paper strips. See photo above. After much thought, I decided that it would be more fun to actually build the chain over the next few weeks instead of disassembling it! I'll hang it in a place in the kitchen where we can all see it. We'll go over the (daily) name of Jesus and one of us will look it up in the Bible. We'll have to do it at dinner time, since Jim leaves right after dinner for work.

I included a picture of Owen 'playing' guitar with the help of Nathan. Also you'll see a picture of Owen 'reading' the Christmas Story from the Bible to Rudolph. Now, Owen doesn't know the story of Rudolph; to him he's just his 'pet'! Rudolph comes out only at Christmas time for decoration (Nathan received him 8 years ago!), but Owen has claimed him as his own! It's too cute!

This is too weird, when I uploaded all of my photos, one overlaps the other in my preview. I hope it doesn't look like that when I 'publish' this post it! Sorry if it does. Maybe that's why this blog service is free! I have no idea what to expect!

Until next time, BLESSINGS! joie