Friday, February 27, 2009

Apparently I need some Bare Minerals to go along with my hair dye....

This morning after my 3 eldest children left for school, my husband left for work, my baby was still snoozing; Bryna (my sweet little 5 year old) and I were snuggled up watching cartoons. A commercial for Bare Minerals came on....honestly I wasn't paying attention, I was watching cartoons with my eyes closed if ya get my drift....and the following conversation occured:

B: Mommy do you have that stuff?
Me: (Without opening my eyes) No dear I don't have any of that makeup.
B: You should get does good things to your cheeks....
B: It keeps your cheeks from cracking (with this remark I open my eyes to see her using her hands to try to push her cheeks up as if to demonstrate for me).
Another Pause
B: It gets all the bad stuff off your cheeks.
B: (In an even more convincing tone with a hint of gentleness and concern) You have some bad stuff.
With this remark, I didn't say a word but looked her right in the eye to see if she would further explain, which she did....
B: You have these, and she pointed to a small mole I have on my neck.
PHEW! I was relieved that she didn't point to my age spots or wrinkles....of course I guess "keeping your cheeks from cracking" does imply wrinkles.
Apparently I need some Bare Minerals, and some hair dye (remember my NOT ME MONDAY post)! What I have yet to tell these precious little girls is that they could be part of the reason I have gray hair and my cheeks are cracking....hmmmm.....go figure.
On the flipside, my daughters do pay me compliments very often; so I guess a few "helpful" critiques aren't the end of the world when they are done so in such a loving and kind way. If some gray hair and cracked cheeks are results from motherhood, I'll take them anyday; hopefully it will just show that I am aging with grace!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

Here are 2 of my girls, Addison and Drew, at Sea World in 2005! Can you tell they were in awe of the dolphins flipping through the air? I loved this picture when I saw it, so much so, that I have it framed in my kitchen. For more Wordful Wednesday, go to Angie's blog. Thanks Angie.

Monday, February 23, 2009

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN................

Welcome to this week's therapy session where we all relive the things we did NOT play along or read more NOT confessions, click on MckMama's blog.

This week, I did not stand in the bathroom putting on my makeup while Bryna and Drew were in the tub and NOT listen to them talk about me as if I weren't standing right there. And I did NOT hear them say the following things...."Wow, mommy is getting gray hair! Yes, she is....look right there by her ear! Do you see all of that gray hair?" I did NOT shoot them a look that said...Helloooooo, I'm standing right here while you diss on my hair. Then they did NOT seem to realize that yes I was listening and say the following...."Mommy, did you know you have gray hair?" Well I do NOW....thank ya very much!

After NOT listening to my 2 daughters talk in pure amazement about the abundance of gray hair that I am NOT getting (really it's NOT that much....really), I did NOT proceed to wash that gray right outta my hair that very next day! So there.....little more NOT talking about your mother's gray hair like she is not even in the room.....well at least for 4-6 weeks.

I then did NOT tell a much younger friend of mine the following....."Once you turn 40, you need hair dye, reading glasses and sticky notes; so you can write everything down that you can no longer remember." Then I did NOT smile and feel oh so fabulous when another friend said...."You're 40? I thought you were 35!" I did NOT reply with the following...."I LOVE YOU, and actually I'm 42." I am NOT vain, really I'm NOT, but I guess I am self conscious....who knew!

I did NOT prepare my NOT ME post earlier in the week, so I wouldn't forget something....NOT ME! And I did NOT take notes, about my NOT ME post, on sticky notes....NOT ME!

I did NOT carry my toddler around all day on Saturday resulting in NOT only a very sore arm, but also a sore back and feet, and I am still NOT sore!

I am NOT getting old.....I AM NOT! I will never be too old to crawl around on the floor with my baby girl while singing in her music class, I will never be too old to help my daughter sell 400 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, I will never be too old for Saturday Night Disco, I will never be too old to let my children sit on my lap (and neither will they)! I will never be too old to have another child (I'm talking adoption here, although being pregnant always brings me great joy),I will never be too old for an exciting night out or night in (wink) with NPayne! I am YOUNG at heart, and that's not a NOT!

What did you NOT do this week?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Sermon Summary...Experience God's Love

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday.....the beginning of the Lenten season. If you don't know much about Lent, here is an overview that I found when I googled it.

The season of Lent spans 40 weekdays beginning on Ash Wednesday and climaxing during Holy Week with Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), Good Friday, and concluding Saturday before Easter. Originally, Lent was the time of preparation for those who were to be baptized, a time of concentrated study and prayer before their baptism at the Easter Vigil, the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord early on Easter Sunday. But since these new members were to be received into a living community of Faith, the entire community was called to preparation. Also, this was the time when those who had been separated from the Church would prepare to rejoin the community.
Today, Lent is marked by a time of prayer and preparation to celebrate Easter. Since Sundays celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the six Sundays that occur during Lent are not counted as part of the 40 days of Lent, and are referred to as the Sundays in Lent. The number 40 is connected with many biblical events, but especially with the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for His ministry by facing the temptations that could lead him to abandon his mission and calling. Christians today use this period of time for introspection, self examination, and repentance. This season of the year is equal only to the Season of Advent in importance in the Christian year, and is part of the second major grouping of Christian festivals and sacred time that includes Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost.

In our church we celebrate Ash Wednesday with a service led by the confirmation class (of which my eldest daughter, Addison, happens to be a part). Our youth pastor leads the sermon, but the confirmands (whom are mostly 6th graders) provide the prayers, scriptures, and praise and worship. On Ash Wednesday, at the conclusion of the service, you go before a pastor who places the sign of the cross on your forehead in ashes. The ashes come from the burned palm leaves that were used in the previous Lenten Season during Palm Sunday. The ashes signify repentance for the person who is receiving them.
Matthew 6:16-18
16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
During Lent, we are asked to fast....Pastor Ken asks us to all give something up....something that is really hard to do without for the entire season of Lent. You are suppose to cut something out of your life.....that brings you pleasure or fulfillment in some sense of the word whether it be a certain type of food, sweets, sodas, impulse buying, etc. Something that you use or do often, so that every time you think about "NOT" using or doing it; you will remember Jesus. For example, if you drink coffee all day long (like I do) and chose to give up coffee for Lent; you would think about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for you everytime you wanted a cup of coffee.....basically for me it would be all day long. It's not suppose to be easy or enjoyable.....the sacrifice.....I mean think about the word sacrifice, and one of its meanings found in the dictionary....the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
Can you believe that Jesus thought we were a higher or more pressing claim? He gave His life for us....He died, so we could live eternally with Him.
In Isaiah 58:3-9, it is explained how we should not fast and how we should fast....
'Why do we fast and you don't look our way? Why do we humble ourselves and you don't even notice?' 3 -5"Well, here's why:
"The bottom line on your 'fast days' is profit. You drive your employees much too hard. You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight. You fast, but you swing a mean fist. The kind of fasting you do won't get your prayers off the ground. Do you think this is the kind of fast day I'm after: a day to show off humility? To put on a pious long face and parade around solemnly in black? Do you call that fasting, a fast day that I, God, would like?
6 -9"This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I'm interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer. You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'
God wants us to see things the way He sees them, not the way we want to see them. He wants us to align ourselves with Him. Lent is a time devoted to helping you achieve this.
During Lent, our pastors are encouraging us to try to do the following....EVERY SINGLE DAY!
1. Pray and read scripture.
2. Do a lot of self examination and repentance....examine our relationship with God, ask His forgiveness for things we need to, and repent or change the direction of these things.
3. of yourself to the poor whether it be financially or with your time or both.
4. Self Denial....FAST something....something that is truly hard to do without, so that everytime you think of it; you will then think of why you are doing without will think of Jesus and His sacrifice.
Don't you think you can make a sacrifice for Lent? Jesus sacrificed His life just for you and for me!
Galatians 2:20
20 My old self has been crucified with Christ.[
a] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Pastor Ken says....When you make a sacrifice this Lenten season, you are crucifying yourself in the name of God. That takes my breath away when I think about it....I am crucifying myself in the name of God by making a sacrifice. I think about the sacrifice Jesus made for me, and my sacrifice seems so minimal compared to His. But I can't help but wonder....if we don't crucify ourselves in the name of God, was His sacrifice all in vain?
Change is not Albert Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." This Lenten Season, make the change you need to make to grow your relationship with God.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Change In Me.....

Tomorrow we will join in celebration of the life of Shiloh Ross, born on January 5th 2009 and entered through Heaven's gates on January 5th 2009. Shiloh did not experience life on earth, and we never got to experience the wonderful joy that a baby brings the first time you hold him; but we are experiencing joy, truly joy that I can't even explain. The memorial and celebration of this child will surely bring many tears, but it will also bring much change to all those who know his parents and who know the Lord. The good and glory to God that has already come from the birth of this baby, in just a few short weeks, is too difficult for me to explain via text. It is truly amazing, and I am forever changed. When their first son, Chet Harris, died on the day of his birth 3 years ago; I never imagined the wonderful transformation that would take place in my life; as well as, the lives of so many others. Of course the heartbreak and emptiness still lingers, but for me; the blessings are immeasurable. I am forever changed because of these two little boys, that I never held, and their inspirational parents whom I cherish. I wish all of you, who are reading this, could know Leslie and Jeff....the parents of these boys. You too would be forever changed, your heart would be overflowing, and your soul would be a little closer to being in tact. They will still need prayers....every single they grieve for their sons, but please know that they are going to be just fine....they are leaning on Jesus and will continue to do so all the days of their lives.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

Here is my precious prince, Callahan, he absolutely loves trains! We are fortunate enough to live right by some railroad tracks complete with a vintage train and train depot! We took the boy and the girls down to the train depot last weekend, and this is my favorite photo of Cal. My heart jumps for joy when I look at it. Now you have to understand what an accomplishment this son use to absolutely HATE, I mean abhor, detest, have an all out meltdown over getting his photo taken. Posing for a photo was right out of the question, but my oh my how things have he not only poses; but he actually enjoys it from time to time. He has grown and progressed in so many makes my heart race with excitement when I think about it. One thing I've learned to be very true about my son.....he has Autism, he has Fragile X; but those things don't have him. If you would like more information on Autism or Fragile X, please click here. For more Wordful Wednesday, visit Angie's blog!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday Sermon Summary...Discover God's Love

Matthew 17:1-8

The Transfiguration

1 Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. 2 As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. 3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.
4 Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials[
a]—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” 6 The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.
7 Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.

Pastor Ken began with the above scripture....then he made the following statement.... Spiritual life is about a journey: A journey about following God. You're never sure where He will lead or what He has planned, but you still follow. He said, "The most powerful moments have never come when I have planned." He then talked about going to Kenya which he has done several times. He said that one of the most powerful moments while he was in Kenya was when he was watching them count the offering at the small church he attended. He realized that the majority of the contribution made that particular Sunday came from the group that he was traveling with. He said he realized just how much money those 9 people, including him, had given of the total contribution. And although it wasn't much money to him and the others he was traveling with, it was a much larger amount to the Kenyans it would serve. He never imagined that one of the most powerful moments of that trip would revolve around money, but it did. To get to Kenya, you know you have to get on a plane there; and you will have to get on a plane home. The in between part, although it may be planned, usually falls by the wayside.

Peter, James and John all had a plan.....their plan was to leave everything and follow Jesus. However in the above scripture, we see that Peter is comfortable right where they are. He likes it there. He wants to dwell there and stop there. Ken stated that it can often be dangerous if we become comfortable in where we are, we may stop seeking Him if we become too comfortable. In the above passage, the cloud of God is leading them on. Clouds, as I'm sure you know, aren't still....they constantly move. We have to move on as well to truly follow God and trust Him. Give control over to Him.

10 Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.... Isaiah 50:10!
It's difficult to get around in the dark, but even as a person of faith; you will have times in the dark. These times force you to trust God.

Psalms 119:105....105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Scripture is necessary in our walk with Christ. It's necessary in growing our faith. It's the light that guides on this journey.

Ken closed with the following....To get to Kenya, you have to get on the plane. Your spiritual journey is the same have to make some intentional plans....where they will lead is up to Him.

To join in on the weekly dose of therapy and NOT admit to things you would have NEVER done, visit MckMama's blog by clicking here.
This week I did NOT secretly eat a few, no several, no about a hundred of Cal's M&M Valentines; because well after all....he wasn't going to eat them.
I did NOT let my girls play hooky today just because it was more convenient for me, and because I really wanted them to enjoy some girl time with their mama! I did NOT send Cal to school, because he doesn't really enjoy "girl time"; since he is a boy.....and because he really really wanted to go to school. I did NOT, seriously now, want to disrupt his routine.....children with autism thrive on routine. Letting my girls play hooky is NOT completely out of my comfort zone, because I am NOT a rule follower!
I did NOT here myself say....over and over and over again...."Thank You God" for various circumstances over the past week.
I did NOT here myself pray....over and over and over again...."Please bring peace and comfort and strength" for various families who have lost children over the past week.
Once again.....I did NOT cry in church!
While in Sunday School, I did NOT completely realize while reading Phillipians that NPayne and I should be like minded in Christ, BUT not necessarily like minded in how we do this means he cleans the kitchen differently than I do; and it's not wrong, it's just different!
I have NOT not posted my Sunday Sermon Summary yet, because I did NOT spend the entire Sunday evening trying to get this photo that I took of my 4 princesses and 1 prince EXACTLY how I want it to's NOT going to be FABULOUS! By the way....Sunday Sermon Summary coming soon!
What did you NOT do this week?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Update on My Lifelong Friend

My Lifelong Friend returned home on Saturday, February 7th. She is receiving physical therapy and occupational therapy 3 times/week at her home. She will not be able to drive for a very long time due to the stroke and will have to take a driving test before she can drive again.....Help Me Henry.....I might be in trouble if I had to take mine again. When she was telling me about the driving test....I told her, and she knows, how much I don't like to drive....even as a teenager....didn't care for it. I taught all of my girlfriends how to drive my stick shift, so they could drive us around; because I just don't like to drive. I am the same way with talking on the phone....but that's another post. Anyhoo....I was telling her that if I ever won the lottery (which I won't, because you have to actually buy a ticket to win), I wouldn't buy an expensive house or a bunch of stuff; BUT I would hire myself a driver.....just don't like to drive. After we laughed at the image of a chauffer driving me and the children around in my suburban, I did tell her that even though I don't like to drive.....if I was unable to drive, I wouldn't like that even more. She agreed, and what's even worse for her is she actually does like to drive. Then we began talking about my arthritis....I was diagnosed with RA after my 3rd child was born when I was 34 years old. I was attempting to make the bench seat into a bed, while she was still in the hospital, so I could spend the night; and I was having some problems doing it. She asked me how my RA was doing.....I said it's amazing what you have problems doing when your pinky hurts, and we both laughed; because she is experiencing the same kind of thing....hers isn't really pain, but it's the numbness and lack of feeling at all caused by the temporary paralysis from the stroke. Then she began telling me how she was more nervous about having speech therapy than anything. The stroke didn't affect her speech much, but it affected her swallowing and some of her reasoning skills. She then said, "I'm okay with not being able to brush my hair or tie my shoe, but not with not being able to rationalize and reason." Thank the dear Lord that she was released from speech after a few weeks, because they felt like everything was fine. Then the deep discussion started....It went something like this....
Her....Who would have ever thought that I would be lying in a rehabilitation unit of a hospital?
Me.... Yes I know, everything happened so fast.
Her.... A few short weeks ago, I was living life in my usual way.
Me.... I know you were. Things can spin out of control really fast. I remember thinking to myself, over and over again, when my dad was diagnosed with cancer; and I knew that he wouldn't be there for our next much I wish I could remember every single moment of the Christmas before. Never in a million years did I ever think that would be our last Christmas with him. It has helped me not to take things for granted, but I still do take things for granted.
Her.... Yes like being able to cut your meat and put on eyeliner??? (She is not able to do that just yet).
Me.... Or being able to make a bed or tie a shoe???
Then we both laughed softly and seriously, because even though we were making light of the situation; we both know how much we have to be thankful for. We both know how easy it is to fall into the trap of taking things for granted, and we both know how great is our God!

On February 21, 2009....her son, Shiloh, will be laid to rest. Please be in prayer for my Lifelong Friend and her husband! It's a road they have walked before and is familiar, but it is not a road that they long to visit again!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Let Me Clarify.....

I have to get something off my chest....Once again.....I have to say that I hope this post is not offensive to anyone who reads it. If it is, I apologize; but it's from the deepest part of my heart. READY, SET, GO!!!!
I have 2 great friends, who I have known longer than half of my life, Todd and Joey. They were high school sweethearts and got married in our early twenties. They are happily married with 6, 7th on the way, children. Todd and Joey are devoted to each other, their children, their friends but mostly to GOD! When Joey told me last Sunday that she was expecting.....she called me and said "I am about to send out an e-mail, to everyone (meaning her family and our friends) I know, would you read it and tell me what you think?" I said "Absolutely" already knowing what the e-mail would be about before I ever read it. As I read it, I was correct in what it was about, but I was not correct in my assumption about how she would announce their joyful news. You see Joey was struggling with this great news of a new baby, because of the great suffering our Lifelong friend who just lost her second son was experiencing, along with the fact that her own sister had just suffered her 3rd miscarriage; but she was also struggling with the negative remarks she would encounter about having ANOTHER baby. I read the e-mail that announced their upcoming blessing, and as I read Joey's words about how she and Todd truly believe that God is in control of their family and its size, but also that some of us (meaning the readers of the e-mail) would think they were crazy. I realized that she (like many people with several children myself included) had felt like their good news would be met by criticism, questioning, or condesension. After I read her e-mail, I called her back; and we began a discussion about this. Of course I started with a true offering of congratulations, a little discussion about how envious I was, and some reassurance that her e-mail was worded very appropriately, for her sister who had just suffered her 3rd miscarriage and our Lifelong Friend who had just lost her second son at birth. Then we began to talk about the true blessing of a child, in every circumstance, that we both believe a child is a blessing from God. Now don't misunderstand what I'm saying here....I know many people, actually most people I know (NPayne included here), who are completely satisfied with controlling their family size; and I think that it is very admirable for folks to know.....this is it for us, we are completely content with our family size. I truly respect people who know their limits. Again don't misunderstand me when I include NPayne in the above statement and not myself, because I am so thankful and so blessed with my family and my children. If you remember in a previous post....To Envy or To Be Envied, I talk about the longing and the urge that I have to have more children. Don't get me wrong, being a mother is hard work; and I am by no means a perfect mother or even close to a perfect mother.....far from it. And just because I would have loved to have a house full, wait a minute I already have a house full, let's just say several more children; doesn't make me a great mother or a saint or crazy or delusional. It's just how I feel. As I'm sure most mothers would children make me a better person....they make me want to try harder, to be more faithful, to be more patient, to be a good example, to be a better servant, to seek the kingdom of God. Today in my Bible Study, we talked about talents; so I came home and looked up the word talent in the dictionary. One of the definitions was....a power of mind or body considered as given to a person for use and improvement: so called from the parable in Matt. 25:14–30....The Parable of the Three Servants. I suddenly saw this parable in a different way which was completely applicable to my life as a mother. You take what is given to you and do what you can to make it grow or better or improve. Now it also mentions "given to a person for use" which I also saw as completely applicable in my life as a mother. I have always been a christian, and I have always longed for relationship with Jesus; but it wasn't until I became a parent that I really started seeking Him and searching for that relationship. Becoming a mother is what initially brought me closer to Jesus. Originally I wanted to do this for my children, which I still do, but I have learned in the last few years that I want a relationship with Jesus for myself as well; because He longs for one with me. Becoming a parent has made me be much more intentional when I pray and give thanks, it has made me be much more intentional with my actions and choices. Don't get me wrong I get frustrated as a mother, but I have learned that when I become frustrated with my children, I need to take some time and really realize the blessing that I have been given.....the blessing that so many women never experience.....I'm not always 100% right on this, sometimes I stew a bit in my frustration before I give thanks to God for how He has blessed me; but I do always give thanks to Him. If I get frustrated with my children, I have learned that I need to take a deep breath and really think about the magnitude of this blessing....then when my heart is right, I go to Him and thank Him again and again. Becoming a mother was the best gift I have ever received, and I am completely overwhelmed when I think about it. I love being a mother with every ounce of my being.....I'm not saying that if you don't have the urge to have more children that you don't love being a mother with every ounce of your being, because the mothers I know all do; but I think they also know their limits when it comes to family size. I know there are many other women who are just like me, whether they have 1 or 7 or no children, they battle the urge. I guess I haven't discovered my limits yet....maybe it's a good thing that NPayne has discovered his, but I think I have discovered one of my talents.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

She's Fabulous!!!!
A friend of mine watched my two youngest girls today while I tutored. She is not who usually watches them, so it was nice that they got to spend some time with her. When I picked them up, she said....while pointing to Elli as she ran around smiling and jabbering, singing and dancing...."She's just uh....she's like this all day? You have it so easy!" To which I simply replied "She's fabulous!" And she is! I adore my fabulous fifth!
To join in on Wordful Wednesday, visit Angie's blog.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Praises and Prayers!!

My Lifelong friend left the hospital on Saturday and returned to her home and reality. Although she is so glad and thankful to be home, reality is hitting her hard. She said she feels like she is on a diving board waiting to be pushed into the deep end....she's been in the deep, and she doesn't want to go there again. Fortunately God will be there to catch her. The memorial for her son, Shiloh, will be on February 21, 2009! Thank you all for your prayers for her physical healing. Please pray for her emotional healing.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sit back and relax for this week's therapy session. To play along or get another dose of therapy, visit MckMama's blog by clicking here. The following are things that I would NEVER EVER EVER a million years!

This week while watching The Bachelor.... yes I watch it and yes I really enjoy watching it.... I did NOT cry when Jason (The Bachelor, for those of you who don't give into silly reality shows) sent Stephanie (the single mother) a packin'. Believe me I knew, or did not know, that there was or was not romantic chemistry between them....although Jason really wanted there to be; because he did or did not think she was such a great person. I really really really liked or did not like Stephanie. She was/was not so darn sweet and kind hearted. I was NOT really disappointed to see her go!

This week I did not enjoy date night with my prince of a son, Callahan. I did not send my 4 daughters and their daddy to our annual Daddy/Daughter Dance....where no mother is allowed....only to learn that my girls and their daddy actually did not dance together, or with their friends, or by themselves, or with each other; BUT they DID NOT dance.

I did not feel giddy and completely like I was back in High School when I went to watch Addi in her first drum competition....I wasn't in the band in High School (really I wasn't, but I wish I was), and I DID NOT really Love to hear the drum line play! I did NOT nearly burst with pride while watching my girl rock it or bang it amidst all those boys!

I am not having a hard time convincing myself that my little Drew is now officially 8 years old and no longer 7 years old, because she's so cute and tiny; she looks like she's 5 years old....except for the mouthful of big people teeth that she does NOT have.

I did NOT thoroughly enjoy watching Drew stand up in the booth while wearing a sombrero and being serenaded by the wait staff during her birthday dinner! That was NOT fun!

I did not continually ask my 2 year old Elli, "Where are we going?" when we were taking her sister to piano lessons, just so I could NOT hear her say "We going to pino mama." I do NOT think she is absolutely FABULOUS and I do NOT tell her that about a gazillion times a day.

I do Not think of things for my NOT ME posts, and write them down long before they are actually posted; so I don't forget for the next weeks post. I wouldn't do that....what a waste of time and energy....NOT!

I was not super duper excited to learn that my Lifelong friends' Todd and Joey are expecting their 7th child, and I WAS NOT and AM NOT and WILL NOT continue to be one bit envious and wish I was expecting my 7th child which in turn would mean that I would also be expecting my 6th child....since I only have 5 children...which in turn would mean I was expecting twins! I do NOT have twin envy! Maybe my friends will have twins....I would NOT love that. I do NOT wish NPayne would have agreed to a few more little Paynes!

That's what I did not do or say or feel this week....honest I did NOT! How about you? Oh and remember that pesky possessed fly problem we had last week from NOT ME's? I can now catch a fly between my fingers....of course I use a tissue and then flush it down the toilet. CLOSE THE DOOR PEOPLE!

Sunday Sermon Summary

Every year on the Sunday following the Super Bowl, Pastor Ken does a sermon about the commercials. He talks about the commercials and uses scripture to relate real life to The Bible. He has actually become very well known, in our area, because of this sermon; and last year he was on the local news. Today when my family arrived at church at about 8:45, the local news station was there ready and waiting.
This year he chose 7 commercials to discuss....he had given the congregation an opportunity to text or e-mail him our favorites. He used the top 3 and then 4 that he just liked. The scripture this week was from Ephesians 4:17-24....Message translation!
17 -19And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They've refused for so long to deal with God that they've lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can't think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.
20 -24But that's no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
Here are the top 7...
7. The Hulu commercial featuring Alec Baldwin. The basic idea of this commercial was that hulu would turn people's brains into mush....How many of us would turn off our computer or TV off even if we knew it was turning our brain into mush? The key phrase in this commercial was Hulu is an evil plot to destroy the world-ENJOY! Ken used this commercial to reiterate how people, all people, do things that are not good for unhealthy things, shop on credit....people lose themselves in stuff. God wants us to enjoy life but not for the moment....for eternity!
6. Cheetohs this commercial, there is a woman making judgements. Ken says that we have to make judgements as part of life, possibly when our safety or the safety of others may be of concern. He also said that sometimes a judgement is our choice....and that is not our place.
James 2:1-4
1 -4My dear friends, don't let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, "Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!" and either ignore the street person or say, "Better sit here in the back row," haven't you segregated God's children and proved that you are judges who can't be trusted?
What is the basis of your judgement?
5. The commercial. In this commercial, the character is depicted as a near perfect person who can do nothing but miraculous wonderful things....except when it comes to buying a car, where he then becomes as nervous as the average individual. Ken used this commercial to reiterate that we all fall short, and we need God's grace. Romans 3:22b-24
22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
4. Pepsi Max commercial....directed to men, Ken used this commercial to reiterate that it is okay to confess weaknesses. Go to God and ask for guidance and help. He also mentioned that oftentimes men tend to put on the "I'm Good" persona which can cause them to hold back from one another. It's okay to be weak, and it's okay to ask for help in your weakness!
3. This was the Bridgestone...Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head commercial. Mrs. Potato Head is complaining and talking incessantly while Mr. Potato Head is driving them along. With one sharp turn, he hits a bump which causes her mouth to fall off. She then puts on her angry Potato Head eyes while his Potato Head mouth turns into a smile, because she was silenced. Sometimes silence is better...Proverbs 25:24
24 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. Ken said the word "wife" could easily be replaced by "husband", "brother", "boss", etc.
Paul said the following in Phillipians 2:14-15
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.
2. The Etrade commercial starring the adorable talking babies. I have to admit that this one was my favorite. I laughed A LOT and LOUD....yes even in church! One thing that one of the babies says is "Take control and rise up". Ken says that as a christian you have to give up control and submit your life to Jesus Christ....Hebrews 12:9
9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
And the # 1 requested commercial was......drum roll please....The Doritos commercial....Wanna know the future? This is where they use the crystal ball to "tell" the future by actually throwing it. God wants us to pay attention and just look around to see where He is and what He is can see Him working right in your midst if you pay attention. Proverbs 29:18
18 If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.
Which Super Bowl commercial was your favorite? What scripture can you relate to it? I have to admit that I didn't watch one Super Bowl commercial during the actual Super Bowl, but I did enjoy watching these 7 in church (of all places) this morning; but what I enjoyed most was what God told me through them.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


This weeks RPC, hosted by Brittany, was to choose the 5th picture from the end of your March 2008 picture folder, OR choose the 5th picture from the end of your 10th picture file.....whew....that's a mouthful. Anyhoo to play along, visit Brittany's blog. This is from my March 2008 picture folder. It had 163 pictures in it, because it was my sweet girl, Addi's 11th birthday! Once my children reach their 5th birthday, we still have grand parties, but we don't receive gifts from friends. My children choose something they would like to sponsor through donating time, money or items. On this birthday, Addi chose to volunteer at our local place of relief (GRACE is what it's called) with friends. They sorted clothes and games. Then we toured GRACE and found out how all of these items are distributed to those in need. We took the girls skating, and they had pizza and cake. Addi had asked them all to bring $1 or a gently used toy, appropriate for a toddler, to donate. At the end of the party, we were at home; and this is a picture of her opening her birthday cards. She has wet hair, because she had already had a shower and was getting ready for bed. My sweet girl used the money to buy canned goods for GRACE, and she donated the toys (some girls brought new ones and some brought used ones) to GRACE! We are so blessed, and we feel so appreciative that we can give back in service and donations.

P.S. Notice the cute pictures of Elli in the background....aren't they fabulous....thanks to my friend Cathy who took them.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm A Cry Baby....Proud and True!!

I have to admit it, and I'm actually perfectly okay with saying it.....I'M A CRY BABY!!! Don't be offended by that term, it's a term that my lifelong friends and I lovingly refer to ourselves as....cry babies. We, some more than others, can easily be led to tears. I'm one of the some that can. I cry OFTEN, but the good thing is.....they are usually tears full of emotional joy and praise. I am easily overwhelmed, not by the busyness of life in general, but by feelings and emotions and things that stir the before mentioned. One thing that can and most often lead me to tears is music and praise through music. However oftentimes a certain song reminds me of a certain circumstance which can cause some tears of sadness. I often feel my children staring at me, in church, waiting to see if I'm going to cry during the worship songs or hymns....which I often do. I sometimes even ask, ahead of times, when we have special events...."Which songs will be sung?"; so I'll know o be prepared with one tissue or several. These are songs that I most definitely usually/always cry when I hear....some for joy, some for sadness, some for both!

1. Blessed Be Your Name (actually I haven't cried in church the last few times we have sung this)....Matt Redman!

2. Bring the Rain...Mercy Me!

3. Remember Me.....Mark Schultz!

4. Forever....Chris Tomlin!

5. The Candle Song....Chris Rice!

6. Held....Natalie Grant (I can't remember if she actually wrote it or performs it only)!

7. How You Live....Point of Grace!

8. Word of God Speak....Mercy Me!

9. Lifesong....Casting Crowns!

10. A Baby Changes Everything....Faith Hill!

11. ANYTHING my children sing in church choir! I can't help but cry tears of joy when I see those sweet little children sing!!

12. Twinkle Twinkle or anything for that matter....sang by Elliot!

What songs inspire you to shed much needed and beautiful tears of joy or sadness?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

8 Years Ago....The best day of 2001!

February 5th, 2001 at 9:33 am....this beautifully amazing person was lent to us by God Our Father! Eight years ago today, my life was changed forever for the better! Drew Michelle Payne entered our lives....a surprise blessing 8 months earlier, and a surprise on the day she was born....girl or boy???? It's a GIRL! She was my easiest delivery! She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Drew was planned but not planned at the time she was conceived. NPayne and I had decided that we definitely would have a 3rd child, but we thought we would wait a year or so; but God had other plans. About 8 months after we made that decision, we were blessed by her presence!
Drew is our granola girl....old soul with a free spirit! Animal lover, nature lover, and all things created by God lover! She has a sense of humor like her mother, and she is often caught laughing hysterically at the oddest things.....hmmmm that sounds vaguely familiar! I love that she has wildly crazy curly hair, and that she will often tell me...."just leave it crazy" rather than go through the torture of brushing it. I love that she will eat ANYTHING!

Drew is a joy to be around and truly one of the kindest people I know out of everyone I know....that says a lot considering she is just now 8 years old. My little girl would do about anything to help someone feel better, and she constantly reminds us (me) "to be thankful for what we have". She is content!

I love the excitement she feels and the way her eyes light up with pure joy at the littlest of things! I love how she is creative and bats her big green eyes at me when I tell her how much I love her! I love that she loves me more and more each day!

I love that she is a deep thinker and cries in movies. She is smart as a whip and loves to learn and teach new things. Although she is probably the most shy of the 5, she will step outside of her comfort zone from time to when she sang "This Little Light of Mine" at our elementary talent show when she was in the urging of her sister, Addi, who accompanied her on the piano. She sang it, not once but in two different performances.....SOLO!

I love that she has a fiery side.....hmmmm wonder where that comes from, but that she is not afraid to say I'm sorry or I was wrong! I love that she is sensitive but will stand up for what she knows is right. I love that she picks me flowers, ADORES her cutie patootie Elliot and refers to her as "baby girl". I love that she looks out for her brother, and that she is not ashamed of his differences but embraces them. I love that she admires her big sister, and I love that she tries to be a good example for Bryna. I love that she is determined! I love that she pays me the constant compliment of saying "I want to be a mama just like you!"

I love that she would have potentially been my biggest baby and is now my most petite child. Although she was due on March 1, she arrived 4 weeks early weighing in at nearly 9 pounds. I love that she shares her birthday with my dad, her Papa! I remember saying....wouldn't it be neat if the baby was born on your birthday, and him saying.....that will never happen. Guess what? It did.
I loved being on bedrest for 6 weeks waiting on her arrival, after starting contractions on New Years Eve! Yes I enjoyed lying around in my bed, being waited on and served completely by NPayne, Addi and Cal and monitoring my unborn child's every move. I love the fact that she was born a few days after my OB said, "I think it's okay for you to get up and around now." I love that we were surprised at the gender of the baby, and I love that Addi was so excited to have a sister (since she already had a brother). I love the fact that she was the only baby in our house to ever climb out of her crib.....and only at naptime. I love where Drew's name derived from.
I love the fact that she will gladly pull her own tooth, even when it's not loose enough, just to wait for the Tooth Fairy. I love that she is completely organized and a "let's clean up nazi"! I love that she loves to play outside and get dirty, and I love that she would rather be at home than do anything else. I love when I asked her, what do you want to do for your extra curricular activity, that she responded with...."Can I just be a kid?" I love that she is musical, and I love that she (of the 5) is the most like me! I absolutely love to watch her cute little legs run as hard and as fast as they can when she plays soccer.....I love to see the fire in her eyes when she plays. I love that SHE is my smack dab in the middle child. I love that she is a good and such a caring friend!

I love who she has become, and I can't wait to see her continue to blossom. I thank God for this child, and I am so grateful for this loan.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordful/Wordless Wednesday

Guess what's inside.... Surprise!!!!
It's the cutest 2 year old I know!

For more Wordful Wednesday, visit Angie's blog. For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Brittany's blog! Enjoy and have fun!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Welcome to this week's therapy session hosted my MckMama. What a great way to start your week.....denying, I mean, admitting to all of the things you absolutely DID NOT do! To join in or read more NOT ME'S, click here!

This week I did not do the following, and I will never say I did....

I did NOT purchase a box of my daughter's girl scout cookies and eat the entire box in about 30 minutes.....only to not come home, kiss NPayne, and have him comment on the chocolatey peanut buttery smell of my breath. I then did NOT, completely ignore his inquiry, of "what have you been eating?" Later in the evening, when we were at a party and won the 3rd place door prize of (you guessed it) a box of girl scout cookies, I did NOT admit to NPayne that I had in fact eaten a box earlier in the day. When he asked, "the whole box?" I did NOT hold my head high, and proudly say "YES, the whole box!"

I am not haunted by the amount of stupid flies that continue to enter into our house when the door is constantly left open, and I am NOT glad that the flies are in fact stupid; so they don't try to fly away when I swat at them. I do not believe that these flies are in fact, possessed, because they DO NOT try to fly away; and in fact, I am not extremely bothered and impressed that my son can actually catch these flies between his thumb and pointer finger. NPayne did not start to refer to our son as......Grasshopper, complete with accent, which in fact does not make me laugh so hard that I nearly pass out. I AM NOT ALARMED by any of the above mention fly scenario!

I did not sit in my pajamas all day on Wednesday when we were, literally, iced in our house due to an ice storm. I was NOT one bit glad that my children got to stay home and just play all day in their pajamas too. I was NOT a little disappointed that it was in fact ICE and no snow!

I did NOT cry in church.....I don't do that!

That's it for my therapy this week! Go ahead and let loose!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Sermon Summary

This week's sermon was titled "Transformed Not Conformed". Pastor Ken began his sermon with the following statement....."a little water changes everything." He gave the example of the ice storm that we experienced this past week and how that little bit of condensation, along with some below freezing temperatures, changed many plans for that closings, events cancelled, treacherous drives to work! Then he gave the example of how a little water, in August, changes everything as well....plants and grass that have been literally dying of thirst can be replenished....a cool glass to drink can make you feel renewed and refreshed. The last example he gave was in regards to baptism....."in baptism, a little water marks you as a child of God." Today in the service that I attended, we witnessed a precious newborn baby being baptized. Our church also honored our annual tradition of the service of Baptism Renewal.....this isn't being baptized again, but a way for you to remember what it meant/what it means to be baptized. It is an optional opportunity, so you don't have to renew your baptism; and of course if you have never been baptized...then you wouldn't participate. When I was baptized many many years ago, I knew the promise I was making; but I had drifted away many times. I remember feeling a little disappointed, because I didn't "feel" any differently. As the years have passed, I have been able to grasp the meaning of being baptized. I like the idea of being reminded of what it means to be baptized......"In baptism, you are part of God's family; this is how you live." Jesus comes in and transforms your heart and your mind, we change the outside with His guidance and help.
Paul said the following.... 1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2
Unless our minds are transformed, we may get caught up in the moment; and miss the REAL moment. Do you ever get caught up in the moment? Do you ever judge people by their appearance, or their athletic ability, or what kind of car they drive,or where they live? Do you ever get so caught up in the crisis of the day, that it becomes your crisis? Remember what Paul said ...."Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by renewing of your minds."