Thursday, January 31, 2008


Winkflash is having a special Valentines sale on 5x7 prints -- HALF PRICE -- .14 instead of .29! PLUS they have special gifts like puzzles, stuffed bears, wooden boxes, etc. that are 40% off. Just remember, the .99 shipping does NOT apply to these items (that's only for 4x6 prints). There's a place where you can click on and find out what shipping will be.

Yea! I found time to make my list of My Favorite Websites -- see list at right.

blessings, joie

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lately I'm having a heck of time making pages. I keep looking at magazines, websites, etc., but I draw a blank when I get the opportunity to work on a page. For now, I guess I'll just have to stick to simple pages until I can get my creativity back! It's maddening! Maybe I'm thinking too much about the process...

On this page, there's a bit of a shadow over part of the page from me taking the picture.

Today is my brother-in-law's birthday, so we did a poster for the boys and emailed the greeting to him!

My guys are making mashed potatoes to go with the roast, so I'd better go check on them!

Maybe tonight I'll have a few minutes to add a list some of my favorite websites that you can just click on. I put a bunch together the other night, but before I had a chance to 'save', I got kicked off and lost all my work!

Until then...

blessings, joie

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I've been on the internet looking for some of my favorite songs, and I stumbled across this classic -- which is one of my all-time favorites. If you've ever had children and worry about the future in this crazy, scary world, this might be of some comfort to you... If you haven't heard this song before, you HAVE to listen!! (you may need a Kleenex). If you know it, you'll enjoy hearing it from The Gaither Homecoming in Canada. Charlotte Richie (formerly of the Easters) sings in the beginning. Here's Because He Lives written by Bill & Gloria Gaither

Monday, January 28, 2008


I've been thinking about making pages that reflect my values and the values of our family. Here's a page that I did with just that in mind.

Journaling reads: Jim and I have tried very hard to keep as many worldly things out of our home as possible -- including hand-held video games. So when the boys received these racing games for Christmas, I was worried that I would see this scene on a daily basis. Well, thankfully, the novelty wore off that same day, and they enjoy playing them once in a while!

We had a great day yesterday, visiting a friend of Jim's (Jeff) and his wife, Kim and their nephew, Tyler. Tyler has muscular dystrophy. He's the nicest kid (almost 16!) -- very friendly. Sadly, Tyler's at the stage where he can't do anything for himself. He has to be fed and sat up -- he can't even use the television remote control. My heart breaks for him and his family. But he seems like a happy kid. I think young people sometimes can accept life better than we adults can... If you feel moved to, please pray for Tyler in whatever way God leads you.

The boys were thrilled to ride Mr. Z's tractor and see their horses and ride on the four-wheeler! Unfortunately, because Nathan had my camera, he didn't get in any pictures! But he was there -- he even got to drive the tractor by himself!

Right now, Jim is out running errands with the boys, so I should get going and get something done!!!

Let me leave you with this thought from a song that I'm listening to right now.

The God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
(when things go wrong, He'll make them right.)
The God of the good times is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

To hear this, go here.

blessings, joie

Friday, January 25, 2008


"I love you, Aunt Bea." I hear these words throughout the day from Owen! Since the boys got the first season of Andy Griffith on dvd for Christmas from my sister, we've been watching it a lot! Owen pretends to be Opie, of course. Nathan is Paw (Andy), and Jared is Barney! And if I respond saying, "I love YOU, Owen." he corrects me, "I'm OPIE!" It's a hoot!

blessings, joie

Thursday, January 24, 2008

This page is one I did about my sister and the gift she gave to each of us for Christmas -- a notebook FILLED with information that she's researched about our families -- mother's and father's. It was such a great gift! I also look forward to scrapbooking the pictures I have of my grandmother's as young girls! I have access to several more pictures of other 'ancestors', as well! The ancestry information that Donna gave us -- some goes back to the Revolutionary War! She recently received an email from a 3rd cousin of ours -- I think we remember her as a baby 30+ years ago -- through . I had emailed my sister, Donna, last week to ask her how and when she got involved with genealogy. Her lengthy and informative response led me to want to scrapbook it on a page to make this one into a 2-page layout.

That's all for now.

blessings, joie

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I've been thinking about ornament ideas for kids to do for AGES now! I've been saving lids for this reason! I like the results!

First, I took a plastic lid from an almond can -- which was red.

I added decorative edging/ribbon using scrapbook adhesive.

I cut a picture to fit nicely into the underside of the lid. I used my old CM circle cutter, but you can trace the lid onto the picture and cut a little inside the line if you want. I adhered my picture using double-sided tape.

I taped a loop, made from a green Christmas tree ornament hook, to the "top" of the lid, which is now considered the back of my ornament.

I then cut out decorative paper to fit inside the indentation in the can lid. You'll see what I mean when you look at a lid like this. I adhered it with double-sided tape. It covered the loop/ornament hook wire and gave the backside of the ornament some decoration. I put sticker numbers on the back for the date. You could also put the family name or the subject's name (could be family pet) with stickers or rub-ons on back OR front! Adding bulky items is not problem since these are not going in an album!

This is a great project for children to do for a grandparent or even your own family tree. Since we homeschool, school projects are done at home! You could decorate your whole tree with these!! Hey! Instead of using pictures, you could type out Bible verses about the birth of Jesus and print them on decorative paper and then cut them in the proper-sized circle to do the same thing! I might do that as a family project next year -- maybe even like an advent project to add to the tree each day. The wheels are turning as I'm typing this post! Instead of putting them on the tree, how about a garland strung across a doorway. It's not hard to figure out how to connect them together so that they can hang -- ribbon, ornament hooks. If you use rope -- for a rustic look, you can hot glue the backs of the jar lids directly to the rope -- you can add pine cones in between the lids or hang candy canes. The possibilities are endless.

I have also saved the plastic lids from coffee jars -- which are much deeper than this nut can lid. Again, they happen to be red, so it already adds to the Christmas color scheme!

Hope you enjoyed my idea/ideas for lids! I'm no Donna Downey, but I'm always thinking of some way to display photos with paper and embellishments other than scrapbooks and frames. (You can do a lot with frames, btw!)

blesssing, joie


Here are just a few pictures from our field trip to a friend's amazing model train display -- I call it a museum! Not only did the boys learn about model trains, they learned a little about history, thanks to our gracious host! I thought it was SO COOL,and I'm just a girl! Imagine how my guys felt! It was such a nice treat for the boys. We went 5 years ago, and they boys have been wanting to go back since; I can't believe it's been that long. Afterwards, we had lunch with Doc and his lovely wife Ginny! It was such a nice day! Thanks, friends!

Until next time...

blessings, joie

Monday, January 21, 2008


Wow! I can't believe I haven't written in 5 days! Life has been pretty much the same as usual... until last night. Unfortunately, my boys' FAVORITE football team lost last night -- losing to their LEAST favorite team! We hate it when that happens!

We learned today that a young boy that Nathan knew from Sunday School died yesterday along with his mom after a fire in their home (smoke inhalation). It is so sad... If you feel led, please pray for Loukas' dad and his grandparents -- his parents were divorced.

Today we went to visit friends from church. Doc has this FABULOUS, HUGE train room -- it takes up the entire upstairs of his garage -- he's been collecting since he was a kid! Let's just say he has HUNDREDS of trains! I would include photos now, but both sets of my rechargeable batteries are dead, and I can't download my pictures off the camera! So I'll continue this story tomorrow complete with pictures! Anyway, besides checking out his train "museum", we had lunch and a delightful visit afterwards with him and his wife! Thanks Doc and Ginny!

Owen giving his "cold-nosed puppy" a bath. He received this puppy for Christmas. We haven't put batteries in 'her' yet. And we're in no hurry to! He's very happy with his puppy just the way she is -- who one day was "Sally", then "Goldie", then "No-no", then "Tu-tu", then "Maddie", then "Macaroni-Cookie". So after a suggestion one day from me, he now calls her, "Princess Sally Goldie No-no Tu-tu Maddie Macaroni-Cookie" (or "MY PUPPY" for short!) Growing up we had a REAL dog named "Princess". Her full name was "Princess Lynn Anne Jean Mari" (mine and my sisters' middle names!) By the way, we have no real pets because our house is really small (many times, we're tripping over KIDS!), but we hope to have a few dogs when we move to the country.

Here are a couple of pictures from a snowfall last Friday. You can see how little it was by the green grass behind the boys with the snowman! But it was wet and just enough for what they needed to have fun!
Once I download photos from the camera tomorrow, I hope to have some pictures from our homeschool fieldtrip today! Until then...

blessings, joie

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Well I told you that I would let you know when I got my pictures from Winkflash.

I got them today!! But first I have to tell you when I REALLY ordered them. I could've sworn I ordered them last Thursday. When I went to check my Winkflash account on Monday evening, there was nothing there. I checked my email to see if they sent a notice saying that my pictures had shipped. Nothing. Then I checked my bank account. No record of a payment to Winkflash! It must've been that I didn't hit that last key that most likely said "order". I NEVER actually ordered them! So Monday night, I sat down and ordered them all again. I got them today -- Wednesday morning! Can you believe that?! That's pretty darn fast! They did come from Rhode Island, so that's not too far. But I still can't believe it!

Until next time...
blessings, joie

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Here are some AMAZING nature photographs from Nature's Best Photography! I believe there are 17 photos to see. Make sure you read the captions under each one. A few of the stories are fascinating! God is AMAZING, as He orchestrated all of these shots!

blessings, joie

Friday, January 11, 2008


Just a few "everyday" pictures that I took today

These are chocolate dipped Cappuccino Cookies that the boys made.
A picture of the boys that I stumbled across from when we had pictures taken for our church directory (3 years ago!)
My forever messy scrapbook work space! Do you see why I don't get much done??!!
I LOVE wooden blocks! I LOVE letters/alphabets of every kind! I love Scrabble tiles and Upwords tiles! I bought this wooden box of 48 1"-blocks at my local thrift store. I like the bigger ones better, but I knew I couldn't go wrong with 48 of this size! I LOVE to spell out messages! Here is "Oh, Holy Night" that sits on a shelf in my kitchen (I think it's O Holy Night, but it didn't look right with the blocks!)

Anyway, those are my "everyday" pictures for today!

blessings, joie

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Yesterday, I placed an order -- once again -- with Winkflash for 145 pictures (many of them are duplicates to give to others)

Give Winkflash a try! They have another promotion (only if you're a NEW customer) of 50 free photos (4x6 only) and only pay .99 shipping for your order. .99 is their regular flat rate shipping IF you purchase 4x6 photos. If you order 65 pictures, you'll get the first 50 free and pay for .15 (at only .12/each + .99 shipping for the whole order.) Don't hesitate; I'm sure there's a cut-off. However, I don't see an expiration date in the ad, you never know when they drop it!
For those of you who use your own photo printer? Give it a rest this one time and get all your holiday photos printed for FREE! It's a NO BRAINER! Even if they don't live up to your expectations, you've only wasted .99! I'm quite happy with Winkflash ! For those of you who've read my blog for a while, you'll remember that I was NOT happy with the wallet-sized photos -- the ones I included with my Christmas cards. They were so tiny, AND the side of Jared's face was trimmed off. I'll never use them for wallets, that's for sure!** During the holidays, my orders took 7 days once and 5 days another time to get to my mailbox. I thought that was reasonable during the busiest time of the year! It's like Christmas in your mailbox! I'll be sure to let you know how long this order takes. I've had over 150 photos printed since I started with them (.12 per 4 x6 photo is pretty low!) -- I didn't count the wallets in that 150.

**I wanted a few wallets printed up quickly the other day, so I just uploaded them to Walmart -- using their one-hour feature. They came out just fine. Note: They are borderless -- don't know if you can order them with borders; you'd have to check.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I don't know if I'm the kind of blogger that can write just what's going on in my day, if I have nothing to show you (photos) or a project to tell you about. I'm going to see how it goes...

Not much going on since my mother-in-law left Monday morning. Yesterday (Tues.) it was 60 degrees! Feels like the "January Thaw" to me. I haven't heard that mentioned on the news, although I haven't listened much lately. I just keep hearing about "Global Warming"... ;o( Anyway, since it was so nice, I thought it was a good opportunity to do some errands. After all, on Thursday, when my mother-in-law came in on the train, it was a whopping 5 degrees! (what was that about Global Warming?) So we went to the library where we met a very nice homeschooling family. I had a nice conversation with the mom, Edna. They have 5 children -- 4 girls and one boy who is Jared's age. Then it was off to the craft store -- always love trips to the craft store! Then on to the airport. It was busy enough for the boys to enjoy themselves -- it's not NYC or Chicago, but watching 6 planes go out in an hour makes them happy. A while ago, I got smart and started bringing my scrapbook magazines with me so I wouldn't get bored!

That was our day. I mentioned a while back that I was reading Jotham's Journey to the boys during Advent. I've been reading chapter books out loud to them for a couple years now. I enjoy it a lot! Nathan is a very good reader and devours books pretty regularly, but he enjoys it when I read to them. He's been bugging me for months now to read a Hardy Boys book. Since he reads them all the time, it didn't make sense for me to read them out loud. But finally the other night, I gave in and started reading one of the adventures. I'm glad they love it when I read to them. It will definitely be a fond memory for all of us! I'll be sure to scrapbook it someday!

Well, I guess I couldn't do it! I decided to include all the color copies of my scrapbook pages for my calendar. Again, I created regular 8.5 x 11 pages and color copied them to adhere to pre-made calendars by Therm-o-Web (I think!)

I gave my mother-in-law's to her over the weekend. She loved it! After I adhere these on to the blank calendar, I'll have to stamp (or rub-on or stickers or die cut letters) the names of the months on each page AND the number/dates. For my mother-in-law's calendar I stamped the numbers on January. TOO MUCH WORK! The rest of the months? I just hand-wrote them -- it looked perfectly fine!

I'm coloring my hair (as close to my natural color as possible -- getting rid of the gray!), so I have to go rinse now! I tell people that I'm as down-to-earth as you can get. I don't hide things or keep secrets. "I'll even tell you when I color my hair!" So here it is for all to know -- tonight I'm coloring my hair! You can probably see all the gray in the picture of me with my immediate family in my last post from a couple days ago!

I hope you enjoy my blog! If you do, please leave a comment. It's nice to see feedback! Once the "holidays" are over for me (this weekend, I think!) I'll probably post more. Who knows. We have to LEAP back into homeschooling, so that might take more time! The boys are still learning daily on a more informal basis (between you and me, I think they learn better that way!)

blessings to you all! joie

Monday, January 7, 2008


Believe it or not, I still have stuff to do for Christmas gifts! We get together with my family next Saturday, and I have a few things yet to make! Yikes! But it's fun to stretch Christmas out! My tree is still up, and I'm even still baking (or making treats!) -- things I didn't get to before Christmas! I decided as a teenager to continue listening to Christmas music AFTER Christmas so that it wasn't such a letdown the day after Christmas! I know that some people HAVE to get Christmas put away right after New Year's or even before. That's fine for some, but I just can't relate to that! Things are so hectic BEFORE Christmas, that I don't enjoy it as much as I want to. So stretching it out after Christmas works great for me and my family! My mother-in-law has visited after Christmas for 2 years now, so it's nice to have company and "entertain". This year (and last year) we invited a dear friend of hers over -- and her DELIGHTFUL daughter (hey, Tammy!) to spend the afternoon and have dinner. We had SUCH a nice time talking and sharing scrapbooks! Tammy does a lot of stamping and cardmaking. She gave my mother-in-law and me BEAUTIFUL handmade cards as gifts! I love them! It's going to be hard to give them away!

I've included some photos of our visit with my mother-in-law and Kay and Tammy plus a few of just the boys and our family. We've not had a picture taken of just our family in 5 years! And that was before Owen! Unless you count the one of me and Owen in the hospital bed when he was born with Jim and the boys standing by. I WON'T be posting THAT one!

Here's Owen with Jim on our new "chin-up" bar. Also, play-doh and "scribbling" eggs!

Hopefully, I will post more frequently once Christmas is over for us! That will be next weekend! I hope to add photos of the projects that I've completed for gifts.

blessings, joie

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Still working on some last minute handmade projects. I love to make them; I just wish I would get started earlier. I started my calendar in late November (should've started it in September!), and I'm still not done! I ran out of ideas for pictures. I had to go through this 2007 pictures again this afternoon! I have MANY, but I want just the right ones. Considering the recipient will have each page up for 30 days, I want to choose pictures that reflect my children's personalities (and good looks!). I think I can pull it off! I'd better; my mother-in-law will be here Thursday afternoon, and I still have to take the completed page to Staples to make a couple color copies!

Our Christmas was very nice. It was pretty quiet, as we like it -- just the 5 of us. Although my boys would love to open ALL their Christmas gifts up at one time, it's nice to spread Christmas out over 3 weeks!

Here are a couple pictures from the Sunday School program that Owen was in rare form for! Here he is "swingin' those bells". I've also included a picture of Jared singing. The picture of Nathan didn't come out well, so I opted to leave it out for his sake!

Nathan ended up playing O Holy Night on his guitar, Jared played Silent Night on his harmonica and Owen just acted up -- on Christmas Eve! Here is the Christmas card that I made for my mother. Nathan loves it so much, I'm going to make one for him that'll fit matted in a 8x10 frame so that he can keep it forever! He's really into the memories thing! He's not afraid to tell me that a particular apron (that my mother-in-law made me years ago with snowmen on it) is a great memory for him. In the future, I'll take it out at Christmas and hang it in a place where it can be seen, but I won't wear it much so that I don't wear it out! I'm normally pretty rough on aprons!

Sorry to cut it short, but I'm going to have to wrap things up, as I still have to get ready for my mother-in-law's visit tomorrow, and I still have much to do!

blessings, joie