Friday, October 31, 2008


Daddy to the rescue. Although I don't think Elli thought she needed to be rescued....I mean look at her face....does she look unsure or frightened or concerned? Not so much....she looks like she is having a BLAST!

To Envy or To Be Envied....that is the question!

I was telling Addi about how a lady, at church, had paid me a wonderful compliment. She asked me how many children I had, and when I told her 5; she sighed and said..."Oh I envy the grandchildren you will have." I thought that was a wonderful compliment, and it was so nice to have a positive response instead of the following...."5? Are you crazy?" or "5? Don't you know how babies are made?" or just that look of confusion as if they can't even imagine having 5 kids. In my opinion, remember this is MY opinion, 5 children is NOT a lot.
As I was telling Addi about this compliment, she asked me what envy meant. I told her that basically it means you want something that someone else has. Then I explained that although we should be very grateful for what we have, envy is something I struggle with daily. She looked puzzled and asked me what I envied. I said everytime I see a pregnant woman or a woman with a newborn, I become full of envy. I explained that I would love nothing more than to have more babies, and she happily agreed saying that she always LOVED when we had a new baby join our family. I just can't help myself, and although I pray daily to alleviate this undying urge; it hasn't been alleviated yet. If I allowed myself to really wallow in this deep desire, I would become depressed (I am not joking here, I mean really depressed); so I have to constantly pray about it. Our family is complete, and it's a true blessing to me; and I am so very thankful for NPayne and my 5 children.
I feel extremely guilty about this urge (wanting more children), because I have been so blessed to have 5 children; and there are so many families who haven't been blessed with any children. I know there are people who pray, just as diligently as I did, for a baby; but so far the answer has been no for them. Although I have 5 sweet children; the urge to have more babies is as strong (maybe stronger) now as it was before I had one baby. I struggle with feeling greedy....after all I have FIVE children and so many haven't had any. It is so hard for me to imagine the feelings of the women that I know personally, have read about or been asked to pray for who haven't received a "yes" answer to their prayer to become a mother. It makes my heart ache knowing how they have that urge that encompasses all you are and takes up your every thought. I pray for these ladies every single day, because I do know that urge...that desire to become a mother. I pray for their prayers to be answered, and I pray for them to have peace with whatever that answer may be....that may be the hardest part....being at peace with the answer. Obviously I don't know God's plan, but I do know He's in control; and He's there for us to lean on and to scoop us up when we have fallen down. I do know that He loves us even when the answer He gives is no.


Oh Addi...where has time gone? I feel like you are slowly slipping away, growing up so fast. You are my first born and until I had you, I really had no idea how much my own mother really loved me. Until I had you, I had no idea that being a mother would stir my soul like it has never been stirred before. Until I had you, I didn't realize that I wanted a house full of children. Until I had you, I didn't understand how your heartbreak will be my heartbreak tenfold. Until I had you, I didn't realize that it's not all about me. Until I had you, I had no idea how much I would enjoy watching your daddy be a daddy. Until I had you, I didn't know that I would lay down my life for someone I love. Until I had you, I never cried joyful tears. Until I had you, I have never felt so blessed. Until I had you, I never knew how hard being a parent can be. Until I had you, I never knew how amazing being a parent can be. Until I had you, I never prayed so diligently and specifically.
The moment you were laid in my arms, I discovered the overwhelming love that a mother has for her babies. Being pregnant is a wonderful blessing, but holding the baby is beyond a wonderful blessing.
When you were a baby, I would hold you in my arms and say over and over again to your daddy..."Can you believe we have a baby? Can you believe she was in my belly?" Then I would cry, because I couldn't believe how God had lent us this beautiful person to care for. I have cherished every single moment as your mother and will cherish it forever. You are growing up so fast, and I already miss you even though you live right upstairs. I have even thought about homeschooling you just so we could be together more often. I can't get enough of you, and I never will. I treasure you as a person and as my daughter. I love you! Mama

Thursday, October 30, 2008

That Princess Thing

I need to admit, that although I am a mother of 4 girls, I have never been a big fan of princess stuff. Sure I watched Snow White and Cinderella as a little girl, but as a mother; I just didn't want my girls to think that they needed a prince to "rescue" them. With Addi and Drew, the interest in princesses was minimal. They were both more interested in Barney and Dora (that's a whole other blog post waiting to happen). Then my Princess Bryna came along, and she is truly and undeniably the definition of a girly girl. She walks girly and talks girly and plays girly and does everything girly. Bryna is a princess fanatic. I have learned to adapt to this and have given in to some of her wants...princess toys, clothes, etc. When people ask me what to buy her, as a gift, I just say anything princessy; and she truly treasures it. When I finally had to admit that I had a wannabe princess, I was in the middle of doing a Beth Moore Bible Study. I was listening intently one night, as Beth was describing dressing up like a princess for an event that she was doing, and how the children came dressed up like princesses and princes, etc. Beth made the following comment.....You Are A Princess, Your Father is the King of Kings! Suddenly I saw being a princess in a whole new light, and I immediately wrote down what she had said. I decided, at that very moment, that being a princess or a prince is a wonderful and joyous thing (in that context). I have adopted that saying and use it frequently on projects I make as gifts and for my store. I began quoting that to my children and telling them that all girls are princesses (by the way I love the remake of the Shirley Temple movie The Little Princess where that quote is used). I'm still not a big fan of the Disney princesses, like my Bryna is, but I have become a true fan of being a princess; because of who my Heavenly and Holy Father is. I also love the fact that I can be a queen, since I have 4 princesses and one prince living under my roof. So see...being a mother is true royalty (as if I had to tell any mother that). We do need a prince to "rescue" us, and He already did that when he died on the cross for our sins.

Ventage (not vintage)

Okay...I need to vent a little. My elementary age children received report cards yesterday - yea! I opened Drew's, and we looked at it together; and then we high fived - all is good in the life and education of my brilliant 2nd grader (was that boasting?). I opened Cal's, my special needs child, who is not on 4th grade level but is progressing (at his own pace) very nicely; and again I see something to smile about UNTIL I read the P.E. grade.
Let me give you a little background info. here....Cal has autism (if you have read my blog posts before, you know this). Where we live, he is included in a "typical" 4th grade classroom with "typical" 4th grade kids; but he does have aides and pull out time with his special ed. teacher and for therapies. All his specials teachers (Art, Music, Spanish, PE) are required to adapt lessons to his current abilities....these are part of his IEP's (Individual Education Plan). We have had a few issues, with them not doing this in the past, but it has been easily resolved EXCEPT IN P.E. Cal goes through his day, each day, and he has a behavior chart....he either received a SMILEY FACE or a SAD FACE (for each subject from each teacher)depending on his level of cooperation and behavior. He had much more severe behavior issues in grades K-2, but he is really continuing to improve in this area. He helps the teacher write the smiley or sad face, so he knows which he received and why he received it. She will also write little notes by it, so we will know. In P.E., he very rarely receives a smiley face. NPayne and I discovered that this is not because of his behavior, necessarily, but because of his lack of participation in certain activities. You might think....well he shouldn't receive a smiley if he doesn't participate, BUT there are activities that he TRULY DOES NOT UNDERSTAND or that he is TRULY AFRAID TO DO. His P.E. teacher is suppose to adapt these for him, but .....
Cal has a genuine fear of many things....parades, crowds and jumping rope (to name a few). Everytime it's jump rope time in P.E., he refuses to do it; and he is horrified. He comes home with a sad face in P.E. I don't think there is even the remote interest(by his P.E. teacher) in trying to help him overcome this fear or even in finding something else suitable for him to do.
We have brought this up in past ARD meetings, and we will bring it up again (in a few weeks) at his yearly ARD.
Now I'm not one to "bail my kids out", but (this is usually followed by an excuse, and I hope my following explanation doesn't seem like an excuse) .....when you have a child with special needs, there is a lot to learn about the public school system; and there can be battles to be fought (for lack of a better phrase). Fortunately we haven't come across many battles and have been blessed with a wonderful school, resources and teachers; but we do have to stand up for him and his rights....because he doesn't know how to do that. It is our responsibility as his parents to make sure he is learning to the best of his ability whether it be in Reading, Math or P.E., and you can bet we take that responsibility very seriously. As for his P.E. grade, it's not of concern to us; it's why he was given that grade that's the concerning part.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordful Wednesday

Elvis has left the building and turned up at Trunk or Treat, and thank goodness he did; because if that isn't the cutest little thing you've ever seen (besides your own kids of course), what is? This is Bowe, and he is in dire need of a jelly donut or a peanut butter and nana sandwich. Can anyone help him out? So flippin cute, I could just eat him up. His mama had decided that he may be the "Fat" Elvis.... you know after Elvis had some, let's just say, serious issues. She told me that his outfit was white and tight, and Bowe is a pretty big little one year old; so I was thinking.... yes,"Fat" Elvis. But then I saw him, and I immediately decided that he is the young handsome Elvis, because look how flippin handsome he is. I can't stand it, every time I see this picture; I have the urge to pick him up and squeeze him. I'm glad I can squeeze him basically whenever I want to.

Was that enough words for Wordful Wednesday? I hope get to Angie's blog (Seven Clown Circus), the originator of Wordful Wednesday, go to


Ten years ago, we shared our first kiss.
I never would have dreamed it would turn into this.
We started as friends, then moved in together.
A few years of dating turned into forever.
Five years after that, our family grew by one.
A beautiful baby girl we named Addison.
Two years later, we added once again.
Much to our surprise a boy named Callahan.
We were made for each other, in love from that day.
I could not imagine it any other way.
Ten years have passed, with many more to go.
You have made me the luckiest guy I know.
Thank you for being my best friend, a great mom & wife.
Thank you for the most wonderful ten years of my life.
Love Neil.

On October 29, 1999 Neil surprised me with a date night. He arranged for a babysitter, and he told me we were going out for the evening. I was pleasantly surprised by my very romantic husband, but little did I really know how romantic he was. When I got into the car, there was some paper waiting for me in the seat. I got in and picked it up and started to read it...then I realized it was a poem for me written by the love of my life. I had absolutely NO idea that our very first kiss had occured ten years ago, to the day, until I read this poem. There were also copies of a printed calendar from Oct. 29, 1989. I was so amazed and so deeply touched that our first kiss meant so much to this man - my soulmate. Of course since this poem was written, we have added 3 more little buttercups to our happy lives. I can guarantee NPayne never imagined in 1999, much less, 1989 that he would be a wonderful father to FIVE sweet babies. I'm so thankful that our first kiss wasn't our last, and that we have many more kisses in our future. I'm also thankful that my husband is more romantic than I am, or this fabulous poem would have never been written; and our first kiss would have never been honored.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I can't believe I did that!

This morning, or I should say mid-morning, I was leisurely hanging out with Bryna and Elli in our pajamas, when the phone rang....I saw on the caller ID that it was Ms. Peggy, B's preschool teacher. I answered the phone with excited anticipation to talk to her, because I love talking to Ms. Peggy. She is fun and sweet and wholesome. I really had no idea why she would be calling me, but I didn't care; I was glad to hear from her (so I thought). When I answered, I didn't hear Ms. Peggy's friendly vivacious voice but more of a subdued quiet voice. She said something like....Lorie, are you coming up to the school today? I immediately knew what she was calling for....I had forgotten my conference. Actually in my defense, I had never seen the conference schedule; so I didn't even know I had a conference. I said something like OH NO.....Ms. Peggy, is it right now? She humbly and quietly said Yes it is. I had to fess up that all three of us girls were still in our pajamas and Bryna and Elli were exploring their new found talent....playing the kazoo (which I'm sure she heard in the background). She said something like...everyone should have days they spend in the pajamas, and she graciously accepted my apology all the while apologizing herself. We talked a bit more and discussed rescheduling for next week. I knew the conferences were coming up, so I should have made a point to ask about it. Apparently the conference schedule never made into B's backpack, or it accidentally got lost from there to here. Help Me Henry...I'm a teacher, work with me here brain, let's focus! This is the reason I write EVERYTHING down - self diagnosed momnesia. Thank goodness Ms. Peggy is the sweet and wonderful lady that she is. The whole Payne Train LOVES her. Again I thank God for another introduction!

Freedom At Last

B-Nut and Elli Ooooo and I just returned from a quick shopping trip to Target. While we were there, I let Elli ride in the back of the cart instead of the front with the seatbelt. She has only done this twice before, and she proved herself as trustworthy by staying on her bum the entire shopping trip. After we had gotten what we went to buy, and we were just browsing; she said "I out?" I pondered for a she ready? My requirement is that you have to ride in a cart with a seatbelt or a stroller with a seatbelt until you are two, and then depending on the child and if I think they are ready to be free at last....I will let them walk along side me. So far...I've only had 2 of my 5 children who were ready or even wanted to get out of the cart or stroller, hence they continued to stay strapped in until they were ready or too big for the seatbelts. I decided to give it a try, since we were through shopping. I watched her walk with a little sway as if to say to every passerby....."Hey, I'm out of the cart. Do you see this? She let me out." She walked a little ahead of me until I asked her to come back by me (which she did), and I was surprised....because she is very strong willed. She browsed through the clothes and shoes, as if SHE were the mother, then she began to help push the cart. As we approached the parking lot, she was helping push the cart; and IT happened....she tried to ever so quickly free herself from my boundaries. This resulted in me picking her up while pushing the cart (with B-Nut in the back - she was one of the 5 who would still prefer riding than walking). She was not happy about losing her freedom, and wailed loudly "I WALK. I WALK." Sorry Elli Ooooo, you lost your privelege this time, but we will try again soon! Overall she did a great job with her freedom of choice....I hope that sticks with her as she grows up.

Will He hear us? Do you hear them?

The other day B-Nut, Elli Oooo, and I were sitting in the carpool lane waiting patiently. I was reading something or balancing my checkbook or something that I do when I have about 10 minutes to sit and not move in the car. B-Nut and Elli were doing the usual....listening to music and singing or playing peekaboo. THEN comes the question, and honestly my mind was elsewhere; so I didn't REALLY hear it at first. "Mom, when will the day stop?" My response, "I'm sorry dear I didn't hear you." (really I wasn't listening). Then the question again, "When will the day stop?" My response, "At midnight, the day will end and another day will begin." Then the following conversation took place....
B-No when will the day stop?
Me-At midnight sugar pie.
B- No mom, when will God stop the days?
LOOOOONG PAUSE....not because I didn't know what to say, but because I was savoring the moment of her 5 year old brain and all its wonder.
Me-I don't know sugar, whenever God decides; He will stop the days.
B -If He yells STOP really loud, will we hear Him?
Big smile as I visualize this image....everyone freezing right where they are when they hear the Lord Almighty say STOP! He won't have to yell it, because his voice is a thunderous roar of gentle power. Then I respond...
Me - I don't know dear, but we WILL be with Him.
Big smile from her and a slight giggle.
End of coversation. I guess that was a sufficient answer for her.
I do make a conscious effort to really listen to my children, oftentimes they talk about silly things or "little kid" things. I also hear them talk to each other which can be a wonderful earful or a disturbing earful (depending on the mood and the child). I love hearing them wonder and contemplate about God and Jesus. I will admit that many of their questions are ones that I can't answer or don't even know how to begin to answer, but I still love that we can discuss; and I can tell them "I'm not sure, let's look it up together in the book with the answers...The Bible."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Trunk or Treat

Our church started a tradition a few years ago, when Pastor Nathan became our Children's Pastor. It's called Trunk or Treat. You may have heard of this or even participated in a Trunk or Treat event. Folks come out to the church parking lot and decorate their trunks (some much more elaborately than others) and fill their trunks with candy. Then the kiddos go to each car and Trunk or Treat. There's also a bounce house, games, a haunted house (sort of) and FREE FOOD! The best part about Trunk or Treat is fellowship. It's a wonderful time to fellowship with your church family and possibly meet some new folks as well. We have participated every year and always fill up our trunk (or whatever you call the back of a suburban) with candy. A few years ago, when Elli was born, The Payne Train decided to dress in a theme. We have been cowboys and a baseball team, and this year we were straight out of Happy Days. For you young uns out there, that's a show that was set in the 50's...the one with the Fonz (HEYYYYYY -that's what he always said). We donned poodle skirts, bobby socks and ponytails. Cal and NPayne went with the rolled up jeans and t-shirts. Of course NPayne was sporting his cons (that's short for converse) as well. No pictures of me this time, because I couldn't find a flattering one or even a favorable one in the ones NPayne took....maybe after I dress up this weekend, I'll post a photo of myself. That way I can plan ahead... suck in, turn to my good side, and stick my chin out (to avoid the chicken chin-you know the double looking chin even when you don't really have a double chin?). We will just have to wait and see.


Not me Monday! Courtesy of MckMama! Click the side bar to get to her blog.
1. I did not sit in front of my computer all day working on my new blog for my business making sure it met my standards of a business blog, whatever those may not me!
2. I did not stay up until after 1:00am on Friday and Saturday while I was at my retreat - I wouldn't dare!
3. I did not sleep in and let NPayne help the kids get ready for school and then take them to school (like he does every day).
4. I absolutely did not take my preschooler to school while still wearing my pajamas....nope not me!
5. I do not read NieNie's blog and pray for her and her family every single day.
6. I do not read MckMama's blog and pray for baby Stellan every single day, AND I am not one bit envious of her; because she is having another baby - not me!
7. I did not dress up in a poodle skirt and everything that goes with it for our church's Fall carnival - NEVER! And I DID NOT ENJOY IT!
8. I am not excited about going clogging tonight in my Halloween costume, nope not me!
9. I did not sing and dance with Elli today in her music class and thoroughly ENJOY myself watching her blink her eyes and tap her toes, not me!
10. I did not break the Payne rule and come home from my retreat tired and then take a nap-absolutely NOT!
That's it for Not Me Monday....tune in next week for another episode!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

They Like Me....They Really Like Me!

I returned home from the retreat today, actually I met my family at church and then came home. My kids, ALL of them, were very happy to see me. They always are, and I am always very happy to see them. You know the feeling, when you're expecting something amazing to happen, and as you get closer you get more and more excited? That's how I feel as I'm traveling closer and closer to my family. The anticipation of getting to hold my baby and hug and kiss my sweet children's faces and of course give NPayne a very long embrace, it all excites me and makes me anxious all at once. What better place to embrace your family, after being away from them for a few days, than at church - God's House, Our Father's House.
After church, we sat down to have lunch. We said our blessings which I ABSOLUTELY love to do with my children, then we started our standard individual blessings and struggles. We call these ROSES and THORNS. We do this when we are eating, and everyone shares. In our house, you don't have to share a thorn (which is a struggle), but you do have to share a rose (which is a blessing or something to be grateful for); because we all have much to be grateful for. We began around the table, with everyone sharing, when we got to Elli (who usually just says in her sweet little baby voice while using her hands to sign..."Thank You Jesus"). Today she actually said this....."My rose gaa goo gaa goo gaa(which is an interpretation for language we didn't understand)MOMMY." She likes me, she really likes me! We all broke into thunderous applause especially me and Elli. It's true absence does make the heart grow fonder. NPayne told me that everytime she heard the door open, while I was gone, she would ask him "Mama home?"
During roses and thorns all the kids stated either that their rose was that I was home, or that their thorn was that they missed me. I have to fess up.....I'm glad they miss me, and I am really glad that they are so extremely excited to see me; because that's how I feel when I'm gone as well. I miss them terribly, and I drive in excited aniticpation of receiving those hugs and kisses and open arms waiting for their mama.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I am going on a retreat this weekend, did I say a retreat?....yes I said retreat....yes I am leaving NPayne in charge of the buttercups....yes he is perfectly capable of getting them where they need to be, feeding them, bathing those who don't bathe themselves, and so on and so on....yes I will lay out church clothes for my youngest 3 princesses....yes I will leave a little list of information for NPayne....yes I will miss my family very much....yes I will enjoy my time doing much of nothing....yes I will be home in time for church on Sunday....yes I will be tired when I get home....yes I am I'm not packed....gotta go pack!

Friendly Face - Mr. Nathan

I love this man.....I mean, how could you not? Look at what he is willing to do to raise money for missions (no that is not his real hair, he doesn't have real hair - wink wink). On a more serious note....Nathan came to our church a little over 3 years ago to take over our Children's Ministry (which was in a desperate state at that time). I remember thinking....ahhh it will be unusual to have a man as a children's pastor (all I had known prior was a woman). I met him and instantly liked him and over the last few years I have grown to love a respectful, love your pastor sort of way. He is remarkable, truly an amazing soul. My kids adore him, NPayne and I have the utmost respect and gratitude for Nathan. I am most certain, my dog Finn, would treasure him as well (when he gets to meet him). My children have grown sooooo much in Christ through activities and programs that Nathan has brought to our church. This is where I also have to recognize and thank everyone who helps Nathan implement these programs. Nathan is sweet and generous and kind.
He was the first person, after NPayne and myself, to hold my newborn baby Elliot (that's Nathan, Cynthia and newborn Elli in the above picture). He anxiously waited in the waiting room for her birth and immediately took her in his arms at the first chance he was given. He's an angel sent to us and all the families in our church to minister to them, teach them, love them and encourage them. I thank God for him daily. Thank you Mr. Nathan for all you do. The Payne Train truly loves you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


A few weeks ago, I chaperoned a church retreat for our youth. Yes, go ahead and kick me in the stomache again, when I have to say my ADDI is a middle schooler (boo hoo) which in turn means she graduated from the Children's Ministry into the Youth Ministry. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the youth program, it's fab! The youth pastor is wonderful, and we are so blessed to be a part of our church and that ministry. It's truly a blessing! Addi is enjoying youth and growing in Christ which is really the main objective. I took this picture while we were on the retreat having "free" time. I love it, because it shows 4 high school girlfriends just hanging out and enjoying God's creation. I love girlfriends, and I think those are some of the most important relationships in a girl's life. To me....this picture exemplifies GIRLFRIENDS!

She Is The Most Like Me

My sweet little Drew. I absolutely adore this girl. She is my smack dab in the middle child, 3rd of 5! She has several of the "middle child characteristics" as well(I looked them up). Drew is very shy around adults, but she is very social with her friends. She is extremely hard on herself and takes things extremely personal. She is so very generous and is the first one to clean out her toys to give away. Drew also feels like she's not good enough, and she doesn't match up to her older sister. She compares herself to Addi a lot, and she never gives herself a break. Drew is the most like her mama so far; although baby Elli is showing signs of being a Drew/mom mini me. Drew is a free spirit with an old soul. She loves the world and everything God created. Drew is hysterically funny and has a sense of humor that most 7 year olds couldn't even grasp. She has been dubbed, my "granola girl", by one of my girlfriends; and she has declared herself a "tomboy who likes to wear dresses." She is sensitive and caring and her feelings get hurt easily. She is a deep thinker and often reminds me that we have so much to be grateful for when tough circumstances arise. She is easily amused and cracks herself up. She is extremely competitive (I'm not sure where this comes from), and her emotions are black or white - there's no gray area for Drew. She loves her friends and cherishes her family with her whole heart. Drew is my child, who would rather stay home and play, than do anything else. She has a fiery temper and is easily overwhelmed with "busyness" (just like her mama). She loves her Bible and takes care of her things. She doesn't complain about weekly chores (at least not that often) and offers to help me with mine. Drew loves art and animals and school. She ADORES our dog, Finn! She carries around a plastic bag, so she can pick up trash when she sees it on the ground. She will eat anything put on her plate and would love to grow a garden. Drew thrives on individual attention from her parents and enjoys the simple things in life. She has a good heart and will be a wonderful mama someday. She loves having younger siblings and suggests there should be more additions to our family quite often. She's outdoorsy, spunky, beautiful, natural, and brave. I love this child so much I feel like my heart may explode. It's hard to believe that God loves her more, but I know He does. Thanks God for loaning this beautiful creature to me. I greatly appreciate it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Clean up, Clean up...Everybody Do Their Share!

One of my favorite authors is one of my favorite pastors....Cindy. She writes an article for our local newpaper, and I look forward to reading them each time they are published. Actually I don't know if Cindy has written a book, but if and when she does (I have every confidence that some day she might); I would be one of the first to buy it and of course have it autographed. I have a ton of respect for her, and I just love to hear her preach, speak at events, and read her articles. She has made a huge impact on my life, and I thank God for her daily (and my other favorite pastors - you all know who you are). In a recent article I read, she wrote the following....

....I realized that tending to our daily chores helps keep us healthy, inside and out. It matters to us mentally that if you spill something you clean it up. It matters that you fix things that break. It matters that you haul your trash to the curb. It matters that you make your bed, wash your clothes and put them away. It matters that you keep your living area free of clutter and the air flowing through there fresh and clean....

I have thought about this often, and I realized that she has me figured out. My children (and maybe even NPayne) often think I nag them about cleaning up after themselves which I try not to do, but I do probably do from time to time. So instead of nagging, I'm going to lay it on the table and tell everyone what I want (warning...the following statements can sound very self serving, but they are not intended to, well maybe just a little (wink wink))....I want them to learn to take care of their things, because it is the right thing to do; and I want them to appreciate what they have. I want them to put their things away, so they can find them (and I can find them). I want them to help keep our house presentable for when company may unexpectedly come knocking (which actually happens often). I want them to clean up THEIR stuff, so I don't have to; and I can take care of MY daily chores. I want them to pick up, so I can clean up. But what I learned after reading this article is that the most important reason I want them to do their daily (or in our case more like weekly) chores is to keep themselves healthy inside and out. I want them to do their daily chores to keep me healthy inside and out. I want them to clean up spills, play with something and enjoy it and then put it away, put their dirty clothes in the hamper, etc. I want them to do their daily chores, because it matters.... and it does matter!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Am Oblivious

Let me start by saying.....I am oblivious by choice (most of the time). As I have said before, I don't watch the news or read the paper. I don't keep up with the "bad" things going on in the world. I made this choice deliberately after the Oklahoma City bombing occured in 1995. I watched so much of that story on the news, talk shows, read about it in magazines and newspapers; that I became consumed with the grief. It really altered my way of living, breathing. sleeping and thinking. All I could think about was the people trapped, especially the children, some of whom survived and some of whom died terrible deaths. IT CONSUMED ME! I couldn't sleep or function daily. I truly started to fall into a depression and realized that I cannot deal with it, so I decided not to watch anymore news or read anymore newspapers, etc.; so I wouldn't accidentally stumble across anything that had to do with the bombing. Since that decision, I've never looked back. Some people, especially my dad, think this choice is irresponsible; because they feel I need to know what's going on in the world around me. I need to be able to be aware and informed and pray specifically. Well I got news for those folks...I don't want to be aware or informed of the "bad" stuff. BUT I do want to pray specifically. NPayne and my best girlfriend Cynthia, know that I choose not to make myself vulnerable to any sort of "bad" or "sad" worldly information. They both know that I don't watch any part of the news and only read a few certain articles in the city courier, so they keep me informed of things they know I need to be aware of or informed about or pray specifically for. They will send me e-mails with articles attached or call me to tell me the weather. They both keep me informed, to my comfort level, about many things. There are many times, each week, when I receive prayer requests to pray for specific challenges in people's lives. Although most of these are requests for prayer in a "bad" or "sad" circumstance, I want to know about this; and I want to pray specifically. I do oftentimes feel a little guilty for not knowing what's going on in God's world, but I have to make a life choice: being oblivious or being consumed; and for my sake and my family's and friends' sakes, I choose being oblivous.
As I was typing this post, I received the following e-mail from NPayne....
A cold front that is expected to sweep into the area by mid-day Wednesday should drop daytime highs into the 60s and nighttime lows into the mid-40s, according to the National Weather Service.
Thanks Babe for looking out for me. Thanks Cynthia for warning me about the tornado back in May!

I have a new blogger friend!

I started blogging just recently, and one of my earlier posts was about my son Cal who is a special needs child. I wrote about his diagnosis of Autism/Fragile X and how that has affected our family. After I posted that entry, I received my very first comment; and I was so excited and a little nervous. I read the comment, from FXS Mom, and returned a comment. We then began e-mailing back and forth, and this mother (with 4 children/2 of which are affected by Fragile X) gave me more insight into my son's condition than any specialist had as of yet. I read her blog daily to get inspiration. I am not saying my specialist didn't know what he was talking about, but I am saying all the information that was there when Cal was diagnosed may not be the same information that's there now. We haven't been back to a genetisist, in several years, but now I am curious as to what we would be told. We were told that Fragile X and Autism could not be proven to be related, and now that information has changed (see the link on the right to learn more about this). My new blogging friend shed a whole new light on Fragile X for me, and the very first blog comment I received may have been one of the most important things I've ever read. Thanks Beth....I'm glad we met!
You can read Beth's blog and learn a lot more about Fragile X and living with FXS kiddos by clicking on her link under my followers.


This is one of my favorite things to eat for lunch...

Egg salad sandwich made with organic eggs and a little bit of real mayo heapingly served on wheat bread!
Salsa flavored Sun these chips!
Coke, real coke, the fully leaded kind! (I'm only allowed one coke/day if I choose to have one).
It's all served on my cute vintage floral plate.

I just made myself this lunch and thought it looked good enough to photograph, so I did!

Monday, October 20, 2008

One of My Treasures

If you have read my blog, you may know from a previous post that one of my treasures in life is hearing my boy, Cal, sing...especially when he doesn't know I'm listening. He sings every word to whatever song he is singing whether he knows the correct words or not. He enunciates precisely what he thinks the lyrics are saying (talk about some garbled lyrics); and he sings really loudly. Because of his autism, Cal didn't talk at all until he was 3 1/2 years old; but he has always sang songs. How, you might ask, did he sing and not speak? He use to hum the tune to the song perfectly with no words just humming. I knew exactly what he was singing, because the humming would be in perfect harmony/key/pitch with the song of his choice. I mean that boy was and still is the humming champion. Cal has always loved music and grown a lot through music therapy and singing.
My very favorite song is "Word of God Speak" by Mercy Me. I have loved that song from the first time I heard it, and it always brings me such a sense of peace. Last spring, I put that song on my cell phone as my ringtone. When someone is calling me (which is often), the chorus of that song will play. This past Friday night, we were busy making lollipops and playing together when Cal came up to me and said in his very deliberate way "Mom, listen to me sing it," and he began to sing. It only took a few seconds before I immediately recognized what he was was my favorite song. He didn't get most of the words right, but he sang the chorus perfectly; and the tune was right on the money. My heart literally skipped a beat, and I immediately got down on my knees and looked him in the eyes and began to sing with him. He grinned his biggest grin and kept on singing with me. For me, it was a breakthrough; as a mother of a child with autism/fragile was a big breakthrough. I know that he knows how much I love that song, and although he hears it all the time (on my phone) and on my CD; he sought me out to sing it FOR me. I believe with my soul, that he did that, because he knows how much I would love to be serenaded by my prince. Although he doesn't understand many things that are intangible (feelings and emotions), he DOES know what it means when I say "I am proud of you." He wanted to make his mama proud, so he sang me my favorite song; and boy oh boy was I ever proud?
The chorus of my favorite song goes....Word of God Speak, would you pour down like rain? Washing my eyes to see, your majesty. To be still and know, that you're in this place. Please let me stay and rest, in your holiness. Word of God speak! I like to constantly be reminded of God's grace and holiness, and it was glorious to be reminded by my boy in perfect harmony!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lemonade Extravaganza Day Dos

Day Two has come and gone, and once again I am tired. I am not as tired as I was yesterday (I didn't get up at 6:30 for breakfast with friends). However my dog did bark half the night, but that's another story.
When we walked into church this morning, we were almost immediately handed a total of $65 from various supporters (including our Senior Pastor) who couldn't come treat themselves to lemonade but wanted to make a contribution. It was like we were getting paid to go to church, except that we aren't keeping the money; and we would go to church whether we got paid or not (so maybe it wasn't like we were getting paid to go to church after all).
Once we arrived home, Addi made more chocolate lollipops and fresh lemonade for todays extravaganza. Cal helped make the lemonade. See how excited he was to help in the pictures below. NPayne and Drew were home, so they got to experience the fun of the fundraiser as well. And I enjoyed watching my children bask in the beautiful weather while reading a book! My life is good!

So far by the end of day dos (how do you like my Spanish?), she has raised a little under $700. I know some more donations are coming, so I am not sure what the final total will be. She has worked hard and accomplished so much. We will be mailing in the donation at the beginning of next week, and I'll share the final total at that time. We couldn't be more proud of our daughter but not just because of the work she's done and the money she's raised, but also because she is a wonderful servant and is an example of Jesus Christ and the way He gave to help others.

Cal making lemonade!
I know he knows how much his sister loves him!

Me and my boy!

Drew swinging on our homemade swing!
It amazes me, but doesn't surprise me, how many of our friends stop by to support our princess and her desire to make a difference.

Sisters taking a break!

Buttercup Elli holding her Pinky Pie and some lemonade!

Jenny, our youth pastor, stopped by to support Addi's efforts.
We are so blessed to have such a wonderful, loving and supportive church family. I can't thank God enough for those relationships. I am also completely overwhelmed by the generosity and trust of perfect strangers. It warms my heart so much to see the numerous strangers who stopped by to offer donations, many without even taking a treat or lemonade. We enjoyed visiting with strangers, who did stop to buy a treat and find out more about Addi's cause, it's such a wonderful feeling to know there are good people in the world.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lemonade Extravaganza Day Uno

Well....Day Uno of the Lemonade Extravaganza has come and gone, and I am tired. Yes I am really tired. Of course that probably has more to do with the fact that I got up at 6:30 to go have breakfast with friends than the fact that we orchestrated a lemonade stand. As you can see by the pictures....besides a little help with the oven and moving the table out to the edge of the yard, I really do nothing but enjoy watching my children play in the beautiful weather and read whatever vintage inspired decorating book or recipe book I drag outside with me. Addi worked so hard to get ready, with the help of 2 of her sisters, Elli and Bryna (Drew is camping with NPayne today). Day Uno ended with a magnificent picnic outside and a grand total of $498 and some change. She reached half of her goal today.
Hopefully the folks will keep coming tomorrow, and the weather will be beautiful again; and I will be able to enjoy watching my children (Drew too, since they will be back from camping) play together while dabbling through a good book. Life is good. My life is really good.

B-Nut pushing Cal on our homemade swing.

Elliot having a nice cool drink.

Everybody enjoying the day together.

Mama is working hard.

He's wearing the shirt we bought him for Christmas!

Elli and Cal playing together.

The girls baking the cookies this morning!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Love Letters

Have you ever found something at just the right time, and it touched your soul just like you needed it to be touched?
I was deleting old documents off of my computer to make more memory space when I came across that particular something that touched my soul just like I needed it to be touched:
By Bryna....
My mom is 14 years old. Her favorite food is cereal. Her hair is orange and beautifully wild. Her favorite thing to do is play with me. I love her, because she's my mom.
By Drew....
My mom is 41 years old. Her favorite food is salad. Her hair is orange and pretty. Her favorite thing to do is watch me grow. I love her, because she's my mom.
By Cal....
My mom is 25 years old. Her favorite food is waffles. Her hair is red. Her favorite thing to do is cook. I love her, because she's my mom.
By Addi....
My mom looks 35 but she's 41. Her favorite food is grilled hotdogs. Her hair is strawberry blonde and beautiful. Her favorite thing to do is watch us clean. I love her, because she's my mom.

I am continually falling in love with these beautiful precious beings that God created and has let me borrow while we are here on earth. My heart could just burst at the joy my children bring me. I could never thank Him enough.


This weekend is our annual lemonade extravaganza. My daughter, Addi, started this lemonade stand last year and raised $886 for Autism Speaks. She decided to do it in honor of her brother, my little prince, Cal (see his story in the archives). We will be having it this Saturday and Sunday complete with lemonade, cookies and crafts (that she has been making) for sale. Her $1000 goal is lofty but, I believe, very attainable. As NPayne said if she makes anything, it will be a success which is so very true. We would love your support and are very grateful to those who can't come to the Lemonade Extravaganza but have already made a donation. Besides if you come, you get a FREE NAPKIN (see picture). How cute is she?

Friendly Face - Adam

Here is my choice for Friendly Face this week. This is Cal's friend, Adam, and he is a remarkable boy. I can honestly say one of the most remarkable kids I have ever met. Adam and Cal have been in the same class for a few years, and they developed a friendship last year. Adam really connects with Cal in a way that most other kids and even adults can't. Last year Cal's special ed. teacher had the wonderful idea to incorporate peer buddies to help Cal with daily school things where he needed assistance: silent reading time (Cal is really just learning to read), getting to the bathroom and back okay, lunch, assemblies, etc. They knew that Adam had shown an interest and a true love for helping Cal, so they asked him if he would be his "buddy." He gladly accepted, and Cal has grown to love this boy. Cal had the best school year of his life last year, and I give a lot of credit to Adam for encouraging him and just being there for him. This year they didn't get in the same class, although I requested it, due to some other extenuating circumstances. My heart was broken, and I was fearful of what would happen without Adam there to help my boy along. Adam, too, was heartbroken and worried about who would look after his special friend. I also felt a little guilty, because Adam is only 9 years old; and I didn't want him to feel the burden of "taking care" of Cal. His mom assured me that he didn't see it that way, as a burden, but more as an honor. Cal, on the other hand, was just confused. After school had been in session for a few days, Cal saw Adam on the playground and ran up to him and said...."Adam, I found you." Little did we know that although Cal had been having good days at school and seemed to be happy, he was looking for Adam and wondering why he wasn't in his class.
We see Adam outside of school, as his sister and Drew are the best of friends, and he has even come over to "play" with Cal a few times. I explained to Adam that Cal doesn't play things that typical 4th grade boys play, and that he is still learning how to play with others and share. Cal's room is organized chaos, because he has about a million trains which are all set up in the exact place where he wants them. Cal can get very upset if someone moves one, and he knows if one has been touched. He can, literally, walk into his room and take inventory in about 3 seconds. He will then ask you, if he doesn't see it, where a certain train may be. Adam didn't seem to mind this at all, he just followed Cal around and tried to interact with him as much as possible. He even encouraged Cal to go outside and play ball with him which they did. The first time Adam came over, I told his mom that I hoped he didn't feel too awkward; and I hoped he would come back again. His mom told me that he really enjoyed spending time with Cal, and that he felt like he got to know a side of him he didn't know before. And so he came back another time to play, that day was pretty much the same as the first, and I even told Adam that he could go outside and play with the girls if he chose to; but he stuck with Cal. When he left that afternoon, Adam looked me square in the eye and said in the most appreciative voice I've ever heard from a little boy......"Thank you so much for having me over. Thank you." It warms my heart and gives me a huge lump in my throat when I think about this boy and the affect he has had on my son's life and my own life for that matter. They are only 9 years old, but I think Adam will forever change Cal's life for the better. He is Cal's friend, and he accepts him for who he is. For that I am so thankful, and I feel so blessed. Again I need to thank God for another introduction.

Picture of the Week

I took this picture when I was in Colorado last May......the caption says it all!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

TIDBIT OF INFORMATION -8 inches is all it takes

Did you know it takes 6 ponytails of donated hair to make a wig for a woman who has lost her hair? You can donate 8 inches or more of your hair to Beautiful Lengths by Pantene. Check out their website, They have tips on how you can even cut your own hair to donate. My precious Addi Jo donated her hair this past summer. She has so much hair, that she was able to donate 2 ponytails from one haircut. Think about hosting a hair cutting party or going to a salon and having your hair cut to donate.

More Garbled Lyrics

When Princess Drewby was 4, she went to the preschool at our church. They had chapel time every week which was led by our youth director (at the time), Josh. Josh is a talented musician, so he always sang songs and played the guitar. One day Drewby came home from school singing a song which I immediately recognized, but she definitely had her own interpretation. It goes....Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah; Praise Ye The Lord...and then repeats. Full of enthusiasm, my sweet little girl was singing it this way....Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah: CRAZY THE LORD! Help Me Henry....the girl is calling Our Lord Almighty crazy. I couldn't help but laugh and laugh and laugh. Still to this day, I smile a big smile when I think about it or hear that song. You know, we humans, probably do drive the Lord crazy on a pretty regular basis; so she might not have been that far off base.

Word Of The Day

meaning I Can't Get To Sleep.
B-Nut told me today, that when she was laying in her bed wide awake, she made up this word. I love that word, and it will definitely become a part of my vocabulary. I guess if she said it often enough, she would end up in a deep slobbering slumber as her photo portrays.