Monday, November 30, 2009

I've Been Busy

So my photography business is keeping me REALLY BUSY which is a blessing and a ton of fun! I'm trying NOT to neglect my Thinking Out Loud blog, but I have to admit that my photography blog has been seeing a lot more action as of late. Just so you will know what's been keeping me so busy and away from blogging.....We did these photos yesterday of some of our dear friends. Here are a few of my favorites. I ADORE this photo with all my heart.....
I guess you could say, I heart this photo.

. I LOVE this photo....mainly because Ashley is in a tree (whoop)
with the help of her dad all the while never taking off the stilettos.....AND because Ryan (the youngest standing beside his mom)
was a winking machine. See him winking! Help Me Henry....pinch that boy's cheeks.
I absolutley adore this photo as well.
What a sweet family.

Then there's Ashley again.....Super model student!
I mean seriously....can she work it or what?

She is not only gorgeous but so much fun!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

All I want for Christmas is..... ....oh and world peace!
The likelihood of me receiving either of those things is basically zilch....null and in a gazillion,
so I guess I'll just keep hinting around about the cute quilted rocking chair
I found....oh and that necklace from Lisa Leonard! NPayne if you're reading this....
take the hint and run with fast and hard!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009!

I may not have everything I want, but I have everything I need.
And for that I'm thankful and extremely blessed!
I thank God for allowing me to live in the USA,
for blessing me with wonderful family and friends,
for my health, for my church, and for sending Jesus Christ as our Savior!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordful Wednesday!

Enjoying the piano playing and singing
without her knowing that I was watching....
.....loving those sweet little feet dangling beneath the bench.....

OUGHT OH.....BUSTED....she caught me snapping photos and admiring her!
She didn't mind....she kept right on playing.
For More Wordful Wednesday, visit Angie's blog.


This morning, Drew and Bryna decided to make books. They each got out some paper and the markers and water paints and dove right in. Drew said, " do you spell Color?" So I told her. Then she said, "How do you spell family?" Again I answered and then don't know how to spell those words? She said..."Yes, I just want to make sure I get them right." Remember she's my very detail oriented child. A few moments later, she brought over the cover to show me....It said, "My Color Family" with all sorts of colorful designs on the front. "Very Nice", I said. A few moments later, Drew asked Bryna what her book was called; and she said "My Colors." SILENT PAUSE "Humph.....that sounds a lot like my book", said Drew. Then there was a pause.....and Drew said triumphantly, "I'm also going to put the copyright sign on my book!"

My Heart Giggled

I came home from having coffee with a few friends last night. I spoke to NPayne for a bit, grabbed myself a little snack and headed to my computer. When I went to sit down, I noticed this sitting on my keyboard. When I was close enough to see the handwriting, I knew immediately who had written it.
I picked it up and read...."I Love U Mom and Dad"! sweet of little B to leave us such a sweet note before she went to bed. As I walked back into the living room to make sure NPayne had seen it, I happened to flip over to the backside and immediately started to giggle....
It said....."Bryna Payne"..... as if I would have no idea who wrote it, or much less that it was Bryna PAYNE....not just Bryna! I love it when my children do things like makes my heart melt! She is a dumpling!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Don't hesitate....don't wait....don't walk, RUN as fast as you can to check out my photography blog. I just posted new photos from a session yesterday. I am so excited, and I appreciate the support I have already received from so many in starting this new chapter....this new adventure! Come along for the ride, it's going to be FUN! Click on the link on my sidebar!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wait For It....Wait For It....

A Reveal Is On The Horizon....COMING SOON....Just Around The Corner....In The Finishing Stages....On Its Way....oh you get the picture (that was a clue for those of you who love to try to figure it out)! Do you know what the reveal is going to be? Wait For It....Wait For It!!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

MUMS The Word!

So....many of you know that I love my church, and I love the pastors at my church. And most of you know that I really love Cindy....our associate pastor. She has been at our church, since before we joined; so honestly I have no idea how long she's been there....but it's been a long time. She baptized NPayne, she has been my shepherd many many times; and I respect and love her. In fact, I want to be her when I grow up....even though she is only a few years older than I....she seems is much wiser. She is truly one of the funniest, kindest, most honest people I have ever met. She is a fabulous speaker and writer, and she writes a column for our local newspaper every other week. On November 4th, she wrote an article....this article caused quite an uproar by some; but it also caused most people to realize that what they had been thinking all along....she was bold enough to say out loud. So her article....

Wednesday, Nov. 04, 2009
Ban the Mums, Feed a Child
Now that homecoming season is over, I can no longer hold it in.
How did the homecoming mum situation get so out of control?
Surely no one will argue with me that homecoming mums and garters have become increasingly hideous-looking, over-sized, over-the-top and expensive. I saw some that probably cost $250 — with lights and boas an entire stuffed animal collections attached. Did you see all those high school and middle school girls bowed over by the sheer girth of these mums?
At the game I attended, I saw two girls with what I call four-plex mums approached by a mom who said, "Girls, your mums are beautiful."
She was lying, of course.
One answered in a strained voice, "I can’t wait to get it off."
Somehow we’ve created a bizarre custom where for one, maybe two days, guys and girls spend too much money trying to outdo each other with giant, ugly things that everyone despises.
Here’s my problem: I’m a pastor and sometimes I see the world through a different set of lenses. Lately, I’ve been painfully aware that we have hungry children all around us — not I-need-to-go-to-McDonald’s hungry — I’m talking about starvation hungry.
Our church partners with the GCISD schools in a Weekend Food Program where certain children, identified by the school nurses as the poorest of poor, receive a packet of supplemental food in their backpacks for the weekend. Why? The school nurses were seeing children arrive on Mondays lethargic, with stomach cramps, unable to concentrate. Why? They hadn’t eaten since their free school lunch the previous Friday.
Currently, we are supplying weekend food for 450 kids for $6 per child, per month. These aren’t starving children in Africa, they are right here in the classroom with your child and mine.
The cost is the same for feeding children in at least one program in Africa with local ties.
A former Colleyville resident started a children’s feeding program in Africa because his heart was wrenched by children in Kenyan schools lying on the floor, faint from hunger. Steve Peifer feeds a child for a month for $6 through
This year, each outrageous mum represented to me 33 hungry children who could be fed for a month. 33 children fed for a month! If just one high school gave up mums and fed children instead, they could feed almost 17, 000 children for a month in Africa or provide Weekend Food for all 450 children locally for over three years!
If you are a florist or a have a mum business, don’t bother to e-mail me an angry letter; we all know traditions are not easily moved or shifted. Instead, get busy designing the cool ribbon or button everyone could wear instead which says, "I banned a mum and fed 33 children."
Something needs to change.
Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor and writer.

After the article was published, she was swarmed with emails from all over the world....yes ALL OVER THE WORLD....about this topic. Most were very encouraging and full of gratitude but some were....well NOT! Below is her rebutal article....

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009
Real Life
"Ban a Mum, Feed a Child" ran in this column two weeks ago, on Nov. 4.
In it, I suggested homecoming mums and garters are an over-the-top, expensive tradition which seems crazy when we have hungry children around us.
I highlighted programs that feed children locally and in Africa for $6 a month in which 33 children could be fed for a month for the cost of a homecoming mum.
To me, it was just an interesting point and allowed me to vent.
I was surprised then, to receive e-mails and phone calls from all over the world, because of the power of the Internet.
Overwhelmingly, the e-mails were positive. The column seemed to put into words what others had been feeling, too.
"These mums are a sign of excess and are ridiculously ugly."
"We are surrounded by children who need help while most of us have more than we need."
"This bizarre custom is so wasteful."
"How do students feel who can’t afford outlandish mums?"
"A quaint tradition has been hijacked by a tendency to spend whatever to make it bigger and better than everyone else’s."
"You were being conservative when you estimated the most expensive mums were $250; one in Southlake was documented as costing $650."
A 10-year-old, Benjamin Singel of Grapevine, designed a homecoming button the same day the article published which read "I fed 33 children."
This little guy has his own button business and got right to work.
I learned in the past, students have already attempted charitable alternatives to mums, including giving to Make-a-Wish Foundation, Water is Basic for water wells in Africa and an organization supporting injured Marines.
The negative e-mails mostly came from florists reminding me their income feeds children and supports charities.
"Why pick on hard working florists and not those who drive a Lexus, buy $200 bottles of wine or Rolex watches?"
"Why not write about what is spent on band or cheerleader uniforms?"
"Why not knock on doors of some of the mansions around here and ask them to downsize?"
I heard from flower growers everywhere who think Texas homecoming mums are made with live flowers.
One flower farmer from Ecuador wrote, "Growing and selling baby’s breath feeds my 1-year-old."
I didn’t have the heart to tell him I had never seen baby’s breath on a homecoming mum — stuffed animals, boas, lights, yes, but not baby’s breath.
Flower growers were shut out of homecoming long ago.
Florists insist that their homecoming mum business allows them to purchase fresh flowers from growers.
Could we ever go back to one simple live mum and a few ribbons? One ribbon could read, "I supported an Ecuador flower grower and fed 30 children."
That would be a pretty long ribbon, but, then again, we’re used to that.
One friend coached me saying, "Don’t you know the world economy depends on Americans buying stupid stuff they don’t need?"
For the record, I love fresh flowers.
I buy them.
I give them to friends and family.
Our church uses fresh flowers in worship every Sunday and lots and lots of them on holidays.
I’ve even written entire columns about the power of a single flower to change one’s outlook on life.
I don’t recall hearing from even one florist then.
A few attacked me as arrogant, harsh and found my "remarks were not becoming a pastor."
"You are what is wrong with society," one said.
"You do not have a clue about much ... but then again, you are Methodist."
"Divide the price of new synagogues and sanctuaries by $6 and see how many children you could feed."
One criticized me for being too slow in realizing we had hungry children in our area.
Some had no problem banning mums, but didn’t want to feed needy children.
"Stop sending food and medicine; you are enabling them"
"We have starving kids because we are a nation cursed by God."
Or, the stunningly racist e-mail declaring we not feed Africans, nor black people in the United States, and said "our African president will turn the U.S. into a third-world country in four years."
He closed that charming e-mail asking me to pray. I am, but not for the reasons he thinks.
My latest insights:
1. When you speak your mind, watch out.
2. Even good traditions can continue past the sensible point.
3. Don’t mess with florists.
4. This seems to be a heated dialogue between parents and florists. I wonder what students think?
5. We all have excesses we could give up to help others, me included.
6. We are all connected. What we do here, matters to people in Ecuador, Africa, all across the planet.
7. And, I’m certainly not alone in believing something needs to change.
Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor and writer.

No matter if you agree or disagree, it definitely gives you something to think about. I know that we are not here to judge, but we are here to serve. I also know that I believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with kids celebrating homecoming....getting dressed up....going to a football game....having dinner....even buying a's all about perspective and moderation. That's my opinion. I also know that if my girls go to homecoming, I will dig this article out to remind them; and I know.....without a doubt....that they will agree to donate to hungry children. Will they wear a mum....maybe....but it won't cost $250! That I can guarantee you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm So Excited....And I Just Can't Hide It....

I'm about to lose control, and I think I like it.....I like it!
I just uploaded a trial version of Adobe Lightroom....woohoo!!!! I can't wait to sit down for a few hours a few minutes and experiment!!!
I'm working on my photography blog, AND my website will be built soon!!!! I have several bookings already, AND I'm so excited....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bowling Shoes and A Gold Medal

Last Friday I was in the carpool lane waiting for Drew and Cal. As soon as they got into the already full of kids suburban....with the twin boys, Elliot and Bryna....I could see some excitement on Drew's face and a little of an overwhelmed look on Cal's face. I could also see Cal's special ed. teacher walking over to the burban. Before Drew had even climbed over the seat and attempted a seatbelt, she enthusiastically and so excitedly said...."Mom, Cal won a medal!" I then noticed that he was, in fact, wearing a gold medal around his neck. As I was listening to her, looking at him in the rearview mirror and realizing that his overwhelmed look was really excitement; his teacher came to the door. She then explained that he had won that 1st place medal....Yessiree Bob, I said 1st the special olympics bowling competition. She also told me that he had been wearing it all day, and that he was so so very proud of it. Then the next words she said were life changing and make me smile and cry all at once....she said that all of his classmates cheered so loudly for him, and that he was so proud to show them all. THANK YOU GOD! My sweet sweet sweet sweet boy....the one who use to hate any sort of attention being paid to him....the one who couldn't stand it when we tried to sing Happy Birthday to anyone much less to him....the one who would have NEVER EVER EVER in a million years worn anything around his neck....the one who refused bowling shoes the first few years he bowled for special sweet sweet boy.....he was wearing a gold medal (Did I mention it was 1st place?) around his neck, he was proud and excited and literally beaming, and he loved that his friends cheered! The things that seem so simple, so minimal, the things that just a few short years ago....I thought would never happen....are happening. When my head stopped reeling from what his teacher and Drew had just told me almost simultaneously, I took a deep breath and turned around to look at my son's face. There he sat staring at me with the biggest smile and he said...."Mama, look what I got in bowling!" I smiled back at him, trying not to let him see my tears, and asked him if he had fun bowling....I already knew what his answer would be....and he replied with "YES" and then he said...."And I wear my bowling shoes!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Hole In The Gospel

Who's read it? Who's reading it? Who is planning on reading it? Right now I am reading this book, and it is really tugging at my heart. The best way to describe it is how it was described to me.....once you start reading it, you won't want to put it down; and it will make you quesiton what kind of Christian you are! When I was told that, I got a little worried....and with good reason. Now believe me I know that we are not all called to sell everything, uproot our families, and head out to the poorest parts of our earth to face orphaned children, starving children, dying children. The question that has been running through my mind is.....If I was called to do that, would I? I know that we can serve many orphaned, starving, dying children right here in the fact right here in my own neighborhood; and we are called to do so. I reaching out beyond? Am I being the hands and feet of Jesus outside of my comfort zone....I mean really outside of my comfort zone? Am I? The other thing about this book that has really tugged at my heart is the fact that the author, Rich Stearns, tells us how we can't shut the door.....close our eyes.....pretend that we don't live in a fallen world.....pretend that there are not people suffering at the hands of others, at the hands of disease and poverty. If you know me, you know that I don't read the paper or watch the news. You know that I don't want to hear the awful things that are going on around me....I don't. After the Oklahoma City bombing occured, I read and watched and listened to everything about it. It haunted me so deeply that I couldn't sleep, eat and really became depressed. I could think of nothing else but the images that were etched in my brain. Since then, I haven't watched the news, read the paper, or anything that will inform me of the horrible things occuring around me; and although many aren't.....I am okay with least until now. After reading this book, I have been nudged to start getting more in tune with the world. I have decided for my own sanity that I will still continue to avoid the news and newspapers for now, but I am going to pray for guidance and where I'm being led to serve others. Our church is an outward reaching church, and we have many ministries that serve the poor and elderly in our community; and I love that about our church. I mean I LOVE IT!!! I serve in a few of these ministries, and I can tell you that I am blessed each time I do.....blessed beyond words. But since reading this book, I have decided that I need to listen closer and pay closer attention to where God is calling me to serve. The ministries that I serve in now are definitely from God, but is there more? Is there more that I just haven't heard, because I've been too wrapped up in trying to avoid it? I don't know, but I'll keep you posted if I receive a kneemail soon!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Did You Know?

Today I took my show on the road.....I was a vendor at a local church benefiting a local children's was a great event. The speaker today was very motivational and quite funny, and I wanted to share some things I learned from her besides the fact that when she was little.....everyone always thought she was smiling....but really she couldn't close her mouth because her teeth stuck out so far....YOWZA!
1. Did you know that if you have a smile and don't give it away it will enlarge and settle in your hips?
2. Did you know that as you get older, there are parts of you that automatically become chemically your hair?
3. Did you know that if you see someone wearing their wedding ring on any finger besides their left ring finger and ask them why they are wearing their wedding ring on the "wrong" finger, they may tell you it's because they are married to the "wrong" person?
Some things that made me chuckle today....maybe they'll bring a chuckle to you too!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordful Wednesday!

Sisters.....Best Friends!
For more Wordful Wednesday, visit Angie's blog!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Help Me Henry.....I'm In Love....

Help Me Henry....I'm In LOVE with.... ....cute girls on RR tracks....
....tossled curly hair.... girls in a vintage photograph....

....cowboy boots with dresses....
....beautiful green eyes....
....that old blue door....
.....the train depot....
.....graffiti and sisters....

....long flowy skirts....

But I'm really in LOVE with these two little friends....sisters!

These are pictures from Drew's photo shoot on Saturday! As you can see, there are several photos taken with Bryna.....because Bryna really really really wanted to have her photo taken too! I never turn down a willing participant!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Joyful Day Defined!

As I was drinking my coffee yesterday morning, I gazed out the window to find a perfectly overcast but clear day outside. I was immediately inspired and wanted to take advantage of such a "picture" perfect day. If you have read my blog, you know that I absolutely LOVE fact I get downright giddy over a good photo. I had already planned on shooting photos of my 8 year old daughter, Drew, on Saturday afternoon; but with the weather so perfect and all.....I thought I should be shooting pictures right then. I looked at Drew, who was engaged in her current creation of puppets that she was making, and asked her if she was ready for her photo shoot. She looked up with disappointed eyes and said...."I thought we were doing that this afternoon?" I could tell she really didn't want to stop creating, so I observed who I had left to shoot. Here's a few of the pictures of Drew's Saturday afternoon photo shoot ....a sneak peak if you will!

And of course one of Drew and Bryna, because well.....Bryna insisted, begged, pleaded asked nicely if she could have her picture taken too.

I began to take inventory and see who I thought I could persuade to come with me and let me take their photo. I had recently done photos of Elliot and Bryna and am planning on doing some of Addi in the very near future, so that left my sweet boy Callahan.....this will be HIT or MISS! I went upstairs, where he was still sitting in his pajamas, and asked him if he would come downtown with me and let me take his photo. He smiled and said "YES!" I got his clothes out, and he got dressed. We went and told NPayne that we were heading downtown to do some photos of Cal, and Cal was smiling all the while. Now for the "joyful" part....the smiles so big that my cheeks hurt....the tears that I wiped away....wait until you see.....

I know, I are thinking....not bad, pretty cute photos....she does have a goodlooking boy; BUT what's all the smiling and tearing up about? What I haven't explained to you is how long I have waited for my sweet and beautiful boy to willingly and happily allow me to take his photo. Cal has NEVER liked getting his picture taken....NEVER! Photo shoots we've had in the past have always been miserable.....he has cried and tantrumed, and they usually take hours. We may end up with a somewhat decent photo, but he is rarely ever smiling; and you can usually tell that he's been crying. After a few very unsuccessful photo attempts when Cal was really young, I gave up on family photos or pictures of all of my children together....I actually gave up on photographers altogether, although my friend Cathy, was always so patient and wonderful with Cal, it was exhausting and frustrating. Cal was part of the reason I started taking photos of my children myself, because I knew I could catch him....every now and a willing mood. Last year, after much preparation.....we were in fact able to capture a really great family photo. We used our self timer and tripod to get the "Magnificent Seven" photo you see on the side of my blog. I was THRILLED.....I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I was. Being such a photography nut, it made me so sad to not be able to photo my sweet boy with his soulful eyes and intense stare. So yesterday when I took a shot at asking him, and he happily agreed....and was happy the entire photo shoot, although it may not look like it.....I was literally moved to tears. Everytime he would stand where I asked him, he would smile his big toothy smile and say "CHEESE"! I took mostly candid shots of him, as you can see, because he is still learning how to look natural. That will take a lot of practice for Cal, since he doesn't even know what "look natural" means! I'm hoping to do some more family photos after the holidays. You may be wondering why I'm taking so many pictures of my children and my friends' children's all part of my new adventure that I mentioned a few weeks ago. VERY VERY soon.....I am taking this photography obsession of mine live, semi pro, as a paid obsession if you will. In other words, while I continue to learn and teach myself about photos and how to make them take your breath away which hopefully they will.....I am going to start my own photography business!!! WOW!!! I can't believe I said that out loud.....I just caught myself smiling really big as I typed that.... but with a little nudging from NPayne and a few friends.....I think I'm going to DIVE in! All the photos I've been taking have been because I LOVE to take pictures but also because I need a portfolio. So if you know of anyone who needs a semi pro photographer anytime soon, send them my way. Remember a few weeks ago when I did photos of that cute little boy with the cute hat and beautiful blue eyes.....the one by the fabulous blue door wearing wellies? Well thanks to his daddy, I'll have a website and photography blog very very soon! Can't wait to share it with you!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Joyful Day

Something really wonderful happened today.....something that I've been waiting for for a very very very long time! It brought many smiles and a few tears to my face! I can't wait to share with you.......and I will.......very soon! But for now, you will have to wait......

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Saw Jesus Through The Eyes My Child!

Tuesday evening at 5:00, I took Callahan to Chick Fil A for dinner.....just me and him. Actually we were going there to meet is In Home Training Therapist who we see every other week. We meet her out in the community, and she works with him on Life Skills and Social Skills. After a couple of unsuccessful meetings, I suggested that we take him to Chick Fil A....
1. Because it's small, and he can't really avoid her too much....
2. Because I would see if a few of his friends would come, and she could observe him in a playful setting with people he adores and trusts.....
So that's what we did. After a lot of little prep and explanation, Cal and I were at Chick Fil A. In a few minutes, in walked of Cal's friends. Cal was really happy. While Cole's mama was getting his food, they chatted; and I LOVED hearing them talk to each other. A few minutes later, in walked Maddy.....another of Cal's friends. Again he was really happy. Soon thereafter, in walked Mrs. L....his therapist. She sat at the table behind the kids and just eaves dropped observed. I could tell this made Cal uncomfortable, because he completely quit talking; and he kept slyly looking over his shoulder at if to see if she was still there. Once I realized this, I told him he could get up and play....he immediately got up, with his friends, and they began to play. As I carried on conversations with Cole's and Maddy's mothers, I watched the kids play together; and I saw the look of joy, fun and excitement on my sweet boy's face. As I watched these two 10 year olds.....who are nearly too big to climb in the play equipment at Chick Fil A.....and who acted, said and did whatever their friend asked of them.....I realized that I was witnessing Jesus in action. Maddy and Cole were being the hands, feet, eyes, ears, and hearts of Jesus. They were giving everything they had to Cal, and even though my sweet 10 year old boy, has the thinking capacity of a much much younger child; they didn't care. They played right along with him....completely uninhibited by what anyone else who might be watching might think. It brought me so much joy to see him play like that with children other than his sisters. Cal is blessed to have such wonderful children in his life.....friends who are willing to serve him in ways that they may not even realize they are doing. I often wonder what Cal really understands or knows about the love of Jesus, but on Tuesday at Chick Fil A.....he not only witnessed Jesus, but he was the recipient of WWJD in action! Every since Tuesday, Cal has been saying....."Mama, I played with Cole and Maddy at Chick Fil A" and each time he says it, I can see through his smile and his eyes that he is reliving that wonderful evening in his mind and in his heart; and I think he is his own way.....the love of Christ through the unconditional love of others!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Halloween!

My kids love Halloween!
Not because of the candy....well....maybe a little because of the candy.
But because Halloween lasts for 2 solid weekends around here.
So they get to dress up in numerous costumes!
This year, Elliot was the only one who wore the same costume to every event.
Of course Cal is not a fan of costumes, so he just went as....well..."CAL"!
On Friday, we walked downtown for the annual Main St. activities.
Yes the street is really called Main St.
They block it off and all of the shop owners hand out goodies.
There are bounce houses, hay mazes, laser tag, and all sorts of fun things to do.
On Saturday, we went down to a local church for their Trunk Or Treat.
Our church hosted Trunk or Treat the weekend before.....see I told you it lasted 2 solid weekends. Here are the girls decorating cookies.
On Friday, Bryna was a pumpkin. On Saturday, she was a dog.
On Friday, Drew was a witch. On Saturday, she was a soccer player.
Addi didn't dress up either day,
but she did wear her self made t-shirt that said "COSTUME" on it.
Here is Cal.....I left his eyes red, so it would look sort of spooky.
Not really, I was just too lazy to edit any of these pictures.
Elliot and mama. She was not a fan of the clown show that the rest of the family enjoyed.
So she covered her ears for most of it.
I will say, she was pretty stinkin' cute in her princess super hero costume hence she was able to score 2 halloween buckets full of candy. We didn't even purchase candy this year.....I'm all about recycling (which my best friend teases me about all the time), so we gave out what we received. There was no way we would eat all that candy, so our many trick or treaters enjoyed it. We still have 2 big bowls full which I think we will take to the local dentist....she gives you $1/pound of candy....then she throws it away. I'm going to throw it away as well, so we might as well get paid for our trash!! :) My girls LOVE to hand out candy.....really more than they love to get candy....well except for Bryna!
One great part of the night was when Addi registered us for a door prize and guess what?????
We IPOD Nano! CHA-CHING! Do you know how much those things cost?
I didn't and honestly I don't really even know what they are!
The best part of Halloween is being together as a family and doing fun stuff for 2 solid weekends!
As the years pass, I know our Halloween celebrations will dwindle; and eventually NPayne and I will be left alone to hand out candy! WHOA Nelly....what am I saying....we actually have many more years of Halloween....Elliot is only 3!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Sermon Summary....Remember Because

Today was All Saints Remembrance Day. In our church, we honor loved ones who have passed away during this year. As their names scroll across the screen, two talented singers sing "Remember Me" by Mark Schultz. Anytime that song is played, there is about a 90% chance that I'm going to cry....All Saints Remembrance Day or just any regular old day. This song reminds me of someone who died in 2004, his name was Chris; and he was one of NPayne's closest friends. At a very young age, Chris lost his battle with cancer and was heartbreaking for us all....especially for NPayne and his closest friends. Chris had no living relatives, so NPayne was the executor of his will, he was in charge of his funeral arrangements, he was in charge of basically everything. It was a hard time.....not because of the responsibility but because of the loss of this vibrant young man who was always smiling and who loved life. NPayne and his friends were beside Chris through his battle and as his frail body began to lose its I said it was a tough time. "Remember Me" was played at his funeral, so it's always a reminder of Chris! As that song played today, once again I cried....actually I sobbed....nearly uncontrollably until my sweet little Bryna looked up and saw me with such a look of concern in her eyes. When I saw the look of concern on her face, I was able to then gain some composure but still cry a silent stream of tears. There were so many names on that screen that I loved....NPayne's Nana's name was listed, my dear friends' baby boy's name was listed, my sweet little Drew's friend's name was listed, sweet Maxine's name was there, one of my good friend's sister's name was there; as well as; so many people that I had been praying for all year long. It's bittersweet! During the sermon, Cindy....our fabulous associate pastor talked about remembering and how important it is. She reminded us that some memories are joyful and happy, some are bittersweet, some are sad, and some are funny! It's good to remember.....remember the ones you love, remember moments with ones you love....treasures! As my silent tears fell, Bryna was writing in her little "church" journal. She wrote the following words.....I LOVE YOU MOMMY! She showed me those words with a look of deep concern on her face and a look of such hope that it would make me stop crying. She had no idea why I was crying....she just turned 6 and had no idea that the words scrolling across the screen were names of people who had died. All she knew was that her mama was sad, and she wanted to make me happy. After a few minutes, she looked at me again.....although I was still a much more composed manner, she still looked concerned. The next thing I saw her write in her journal was....JESUS and then GOD....her S's were backwards which made me smile, but it was one of the sweetest things gestures ever, and I know....without a doubt....this is a moment that I will remember....a moment that will make me smile, maybe cry, but definitely be filled with joy!