Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Okay....So It's Not As Hard As I Thought....

So I finally found a FREE website builder, and it has not been as hard as I originally thought. The website service, that I had paid for, did NOT offer what I wanted; and it was EXTREMELY difficult to use. So.....I searched online and found this amazing FREE site builder and am in the process of building.....oh and I did get a refund from the original website service. I should have it up and running soon. What is the hold up? ask. Well....that would be the holidays, spending time with my children, taking care of my chores, sleepovers, my birthday...oh and the slowest rebuilt laptop in the world. NPayne is in the process of shopping around for a rebuilt Mac Book, and I absolutely CANNOT wait to get my hands on it.....literally. As for now, I'm making due with what I have; and I am grateful that I have anything to use at all. Stay tuned and check back is coming soon!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Sermon Summary.....Unwrap The Gift!

Today in church the sermon was titled...."When It's All Said and Done".....and based on the scripture John 3:16....
Pastor Rick, one of our Associate Pastors, led the sermon and was very inspirational. He told the story of Edna....a sweet lady who lived in a nursing home. Years ago, Pastor Rick use to visit Edna each year at Christmas and take her a fruit cake that some folks from his church baked. He noticed one year that the fruit cake that he had brought her the previous year was still sitting on the mantle in its original tin container. Nonetheless he left another fruitcake. Then on the 3rd year, he noticed that there were 2 fruitcakes still sitting on her mantle when he went back to deliver her the annual Christmas fruitcake. He talked about how her gifts sat unwrapped year after year, and how that is what happens to a lot of people. We get so busy during Christmas that we forget to unwrap the gift.....the gift of Jesus....remember that is what Christmas is about. For God So Loved the World that He gave His One and Only Son! God gave us the most precious it's up to us to unwrap it, treasure it, change ourselves with it, change others with it. Pastor Rick said if we unwrap it and are filled up with the Holy Spirit, then we will want to change ourselves for the better....we will want to serve others and help others....we will want to shine the LIGHT OF CHRIST....we will just want to be better people. If you haven't had a chance to unwrap the gift of Jesus, it's never too late....and you don't have to do it on Christmas! That gift is always available.

It's All About Me....

Since my birthday was yesterday, and it was all about me day :)....I decided to write a post about ME. Things I do, don't, wish, won't, cherish, love, prefer, don't care for, etc. So here ya go....
I prefer baths over showers.
I don't like chocolate much, but I can eat my weight in pastries.
I'm not a vegetarian, but I rarely eat meat.
I cut my own hair and my daughters' hair.
I've only had one pedicure in my entire life.
Sleep is my most coveted need.
I have had migraines my whole life.
It takes me about 15 minutes (if I'm not interrupted) to get ready...shower, hair, makeup, and dressed!
I laugh really loud when I think something is funny....even in church!
I will oftentimes break out in dance mode just because I can.
I am extremely sentimental but barely sympathetic.
I cry easily.
I LOVE the beach.
Amusement park rides that spin make my physically ill.
I prefer trucks over cars.
I could take photos every day all day.
I am not computer saavy.
I never change lightbulbs.
I've been changing diapers for almost 13 years.
I like surprises.
I'm not a fan of heights.
I love wallpaper.
I don't like being scared or scary movies.
I LOVE a bargain.
I prefer old stuff over new stuff.
I love coffee.
Anthropologie is my favorite store to browse and wish in.
Target is my favorite store to buy in.
I have rheumatoid arthritis.
I rarely paint my fingernails but always paint my toenails.
I prefer costume jewelery over expensive jewelery....except my wedding ring of course.
My ears are pierced, but I always forget to wear earrings.
I have an addiction to decorative pillows, vintage linens, and aprons.
My favorite color is pink.
I like to dress up, and I like to dress casual.
I wear my hair in a ponytail 5 out of 7 days.
I love clean sheets.
I like things to compliment each other, but I don't like things to match.
I love the smell of clean laundry and babies.
I get nervous in elevators and parking garages.
I love other people's junk.
I don't like alarm clocks.
I never shop at a department store.
If I get woken up during the night, I can't go back to sleep; and I can be quite grumpy.
I love handmade things....especially clothes.
I don't like exercising but love the way I feel when I do.
I am not a fan of TV, but love the radio.
I like stuff to be tidy and organized.
I love treasures: my babies' little toes, kisses on the lips from my son, love notes from my girls, when NPayne brings me a coke from Sonic, rocking Elliot, Saturday Night Disco with my family, reading with my children, listening to my children pray.
I love to watch the eyes of my children light up at the littlest of things.
I am honored to be Mrs. NPayne!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's My Party And I'll Clean If I Want To.....

Today is my birthday! WOOHOO! Another year that I've survived healthy and happy and so very blessed that I can't even begin to tell you all! As I've stated before, birthdays in the Payne house are a BIG DEAL!!!! BIG....HUGE....GIGANTIC!
For my birthday I slept really really late...received tons of "Happy Birthday" texts, FB bday wishes, and phone calls....was served lunch in bed....went shopping with NPayne and my 5 children....had a fabulous mexican dinner out....and opened gifts! Gifts, although quite nice and very practical, gave me a little bit of a complex. When I tell you what I received you will see why....
scouring pads
pot scrubber
dusting mit
whole new set of cookware someone trying to tell me something here? Do they think I need to clean more, or do they think I clean too often? Either way.....I cleaned nearly the entire house this evening, with some help from my oldest girls....and honestly that was the perfect way to end my day....well that and a little "Just Dance" on the new Wii that NPayne bought! And just so you aren't worried that all of my gifts consisted of cooking and cleaning supplies....I also received some cash for shopping and am in the process of getting a MAC book! However the best gift is always hanging with my family and now bustin' a move with the kids and the Wii!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WORDFUL WEDNESDAY....Merry Christmas!

Visit Angie's blog for more Wordful Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

WEBSITES ARE HARD! soon! I've been working on building a website, with some help from NPayne, and let me tell ain't no blog. I is COMPLICATED! Setting up a blog is a piece of cake compared to a website. I'm hoping to have it finished in the next few days, but until then....if you go to there are some groovy little silhouettes and these words.....COMING SOON!

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas!

Although we don't have near the decorations that we have in the past, and we did not buy our traditional fresh cut tree, and the gifts are not all wrapped, and our stockings are not hung by the chimney with's finally beginning to feel look a lot like Christmas. My children are on Christmas break....we have lots of plans to spend all of our available time together and with family and friends. We will bake more cookies for our neighbors and then the birthday cake for Jesus' birthday. We will go to church on Christmas Eve and listen to Drew and Bryna sing in the children's choir. We will open gifts with our family over the next few days. We will go to Six Flags, the movies, Target to let the children use their gift cards. We will sleep late and stay in our pjs all day. We will make lots of messes and clean up. We will play outside a lot. But what I'm looking forward to the most is.....just being....and doing it without having somewhere to be at a certain time every day. I am looking forward to the break from the schedule and just being together.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Photographer In The Making!

This is what happens when Addi gets hold of the camera.... the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!
Like Mother....Like Daughter!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Baking from scratch is something my girls LOVE to do....

....even Cal enjoys helping!
As much as I love spending time with my children
and the taste of homemade cookies.....
....I'm perfectly okay with using Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker!

Of course when you make your own dough,
you can also make dough boys from the leftovers!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Some Things I Am Starting To Realize....

There are some things that I am starting to realize....

-I was NOT fat in high school.
-My children know more about some things than I do....especially Math.
-I need to start exercising.
-My parents were right about many things.
-The only way I'll ever get rid of my post pregnant pooch is with plastic surgery.
-I need to focus on the present.
-Worrying is not good.
-My dream of my own private master bathroom will probably never become a reality.
-Drinking 8 glasses of water per day is TORTURE.
-I still can't walk in high heels.
-My husband rocks (okay I realized that a long time ago).
-There's a lot of good to be done.
-Our garage will never be clean.
-I never did like tight fitting jeans.
-I'm getting better with age (maybe not physically but spiritually).
-Life can be hard, but there's always a bright side.
-My daughter will be driving in a little over 3 years.
-I've been changing diapers for almost 13 years.
-You do get age spots with age....go figure.
-Love can change most anything.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Sunday School Summary

Today in my SS class, we were posed the question: How do you feel RIGHT NOW about Christmas? Unfortunately most of the answers given (none by me....surprisingly) were along the lines of....stressed, overwhelmed, busy, etc. There was only one really positive answer....I like seeing it through the eyes of my children. Then Cathy, our teacher for the day, had someone read Luke 2:6-20

6While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
7And she (B)gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And (C)an angel of the Lord suddenly (D)stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
10But the angel said to them, "(E)Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
11for today in the city of David there has been born for you a (F)Savior, who is [a](G)Christ (H)the Lord.
12"(I)This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14"(J)Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men [b](K)with whom He is pleased."
15When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."
16So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.
17When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.
18And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.
19But Mary (L)treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
20The shepherds went back, (M)glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

We then discussed how shepherds were thought of lower class males during the time of Jesus' birth. How they were usually single males....oftentimes the last in a line of siblings who was not entitled to any land as inheritance. Shepherds were not held in high regard. But when you read the passage above, you notice that when the angel told them of Jesus' birth....they listened, they believed, they acted, they shared the news, then they GLORIFIED and PRAISED God! Hmmmm....don't sound quite so lowly now, do they?
Then we discussed the innkeepers especially during the time of Jesus' birth....they were all swamped due to the census, none of them had room in their inns, there was one innkeeper who took pity on Mary and Joseph and put them up in his stable....but he didn't actually allow them in. Now we were not saying that the innkeepers were necessarily unkind, but maybe they were stressed, overwhelmed, busy....sort of like our answers when asked how we were feeling about Christmas. Then Cathy posed the question....Who do you want to be this season: the shepherd or the innkeeper? WOW! I am definitely a little of both at this time of year, because the few weeks leading up to Christmas are always busy and overwhelming for me; BUT honestly once my children are out of school....things settle down and I start to relax a lot more. The point Cathy was trying to make was this....during this time....whether you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed, overjoyed, excited, whatever....take the time to remember your blessings, experience joy, and think about how you can share the story of the birth of our savior. At the end of our lesson, we each had to write down things we were feeling joy about....our blessings this time of year....and how we are sharing the story of the baby! Then she asked us to take one thing off of each of those lists and practice it every day for this next week....YES HOMEWORK! Actually although I never liked homework and still don't, I think this homework will be much more valuable than any homework I've ever had!

Friday, December 11, 2009


the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma

I have someone that I love who is an addict.....she is a very close relative....she is my cousin. Being an only child, I "adopted" 2 of my cousins (sisters) as my own sisters. I love them both dearly....we live close to each other, and I love spending time with them always, the other when she's sober. My cousin, S, has had an addiction problem for a very long long time. She is addicted to alcohol and drugs as well, and as much as I hate to say it....she will do whatever it takes to get them. Although she's a fun loving, sweet, beautiful woman....the addiction has taken its toll....she is a different person when she's under the influence; and she doesn't make good or safe decisions. She often puts herself and others in very immediate danger by driving and doing many other inappropriate things. She has lived with my mother, off and on, for about 4 years; since my dad died. And although she has been very helpful to my mom....who is disabled....there have been many many many times when she has acted inappropriately, disrespectfully, dangerously, and borderline abusively to her. The worst part about addiction, in my opinion, is that S really has lost all control of who she is. The addiction has taken over her mental and physical capacity, and she really only thinks about how she can manipulate any situation to get her next fix. I recently made the decision....and it has been one of the hardest things I've ever distance my family from her. Unfortunately 2 of my children already know about S's disease, because I felt I had to tell them. When their Moo, my mom, was suppose to show up at birthday parties and other events but never did; because S was too drunk to drive her or never came home that day....I finally had to tell them why Moo wasn't able to come to these things. And sure if given enough notice, NPayne or myself will always go get Moo and bring her over; but more often than not....that's not how it plays out. It was and is heartbreaking to watch her destroy herself. A few weeks ago, S dropped my mom off at the hospital for a treatment that she receives and never came back to get her. For the first time EVER; I got really angry at her. I mean ANGRY....I was also very irritated with my mom....who didn't call us to tell us she was abandoned there until she had been sitting there for 4 hours. I know her intent was "not to be a burden" which is always her intent, but I have to tell her time and time again, that she's not a burden....CALL ME! I told S and the rest of my family that I could no longer stand by and be a part of this and watch her destroy her life and treat my mom this way. She has since promised that she will go into rehab after the first of the question is Why wait? Why not go now? I think my family all knows the answer....she's buying time, trying to smooth things over and get back in our good graces in hopes that we will just forget it. And honestly that is what has happened in the past....too many times to count. After speaking to a few mentors and a counselor, I really feel that the decision I have made is the right one. And although I know my sweet mother has high hopes that S will go into rehab, I really believe it's only a matter of time before she won't come home, or lose another job, or come home with some strange guy again. I keep trying to tell my mom that S is sick....she has a disease, and even though S (and I think my mom) think she can stop on her own....she can't. The disease, the addiction, has complete control over her. I made the decision not to support her or continue to enable her, and I will tell you it is a horrifying thought as to what will happen to S if and when my mom ever turns her out of her house. She has nowhere to go, her own sister and mother will not allow her to live with them any longer; because of the choices she's made due to the addiction. I don't blame them one bit. She is not welcome at my house any longer either. My mom has the hardest decision to make here, because as much as I, my aunt, my cousin J, can all say that we are not going to stand by and watch her destroy herself; it's my mom who ultimately has to put her out on the street. That's TOUGH! I spoke to Cindy, a pastor and counselor, at my church yesterday; and she talked a lot about forgiving and anger when you have someone in your life who has wronged you. What I had to explain to Cindy was that I don't have any anger towards S, and I have already forgiven her for every single thing she's ever done; but what I am so struggling with is the guilt and just plain sadness that I feel. It's a horrible thing to think about cutting yourself off from someone you love and who needs such desperate help, but when that person refuses the help time and time again and continues to manipulate and endanger your family....somethings gotta give. Truly deep down in my heart, I believe that if S doesn't seek some professional help; she will end up dying a miserable death....either out on the street, due to the addiction, or at the hands of a crazy person that she's sold herself to once again to get the quick fix she so longs for. I can't bear to think about literally makes me sick to my stomache....but what I was recently told by a dear mentor friend of mine is that ultimately, it's not our fault. That is hard to swallow for me, because I feel like I should continue to help her; but what I've just realized is that she doesn't want help. She's not at that place yet. She wants to pretend like she does, only to manipulate, and get what she really satisfy her addiction. It hurts so much to see someone I love so much be completely taken over by something so evil as addiction. The only comfort that I have is that I know, without a doubt, that Jesus LOVES her as much as he did before she was even born. And I know, without a doubt, that He is carrying her. She just needs to let Him.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Somethings A Brewin'!

Something big is brewing....I'm being nudged in an enormous way, BUT I can't reveal anything just yet....because I don't know what I'm suppose to reveal just yet. I'm not sure of the details, of whom I will be serving, of....well....a lot of things! But I know that God is speaking to me.....nudging me along in this direction! As soon as I have a clue as to how, what, where....I'll share more.
Until then.....some of my favorite photos from this weekend's sessions!

Friday, December 4, 2009

THE BIG 40!!!

Happy Birthday Sam!!!
Forty ain't so bad, BUT....tomorrow will wake up with gray hair, need readers to see, have all sorts of new body aches, get horrible indegestion after eating pizza, need to go to bed by 8:45, have to write everything down so you don't forget it, and start wearing socks with sandals.
BUT you know what they don't get older, you get better!

Elliot wishes you a Happy Birthday too!
We love Mr. Sam!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Needed This....

I needed this....maybe some of you needed it as well.

Matthew 11:28-30
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I haven't mentioned the twin boys lately....
but this is one of the things I love best about keeping them.
This is what it would be like if Cal had brothers.....
don't get me wrong, he adores his sisters;
but he sure is enjoying a little more testosterone around here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's Christmas Time....Time For My Soap Box....And My Many Other Issues, and there are many!

If you know me at all or have been reading my blog for the last year, you will know that although I LOVE the true meaning of Christmas....I am not a huge "Christmas and all that goes along with that" fan. After my treasured Thanksgiving passes, it's a downward spiral for me for the next 3 weeks....there's tons to do, presents to buy with very little money to buy them with, baking to be done, invitations to this and that, parties, cookie exchanges, ornament exchanges, luncheons, shopping, crowds, parades, Christmas cards, candlelighting, decorating, caroling, etc. Have I ever mentioned that busyness overwhelms me? Well it does! As much as I enjoy many of the things I just listed (especially Christmas cards and baking)....I get completely overwhelmed by it all and honestly sometimes a little annoyed. Now for my soapbox....feel free to stop reading now....I believe that Christmas is about Jesus....plain and simple! I love that His birthday is celebrated in so many ways, and I think it's wonderful IF.....that is why we are really going to all the trouble and mayhem planning and organizing for all of these things.....for HIS birthday! Do we really need to exchange an ornament or a dozen cookies to celebrate the birth of Our Savior? Now I know what some of you are's the Christmas spirit, and for most it probably is; but for me....the Christmas spirit comes after all the hulabaloo and chaos has settled down....for me it comes on Christmas Eve when we are at church celebrating the birth of Christ....or when I'm thinking about the angel (from the angel tree) opening his/her gift....or when I'm serving or hosting a table full of broke, hungry people for dinner at our church's monthly dinner....when we come home from church on Christmas Eve and set out (for Santa) a piece of Jesus's birthday cake that we baked especially for His birthday.....that's when I feel the "Christmas spirit"! Now I do have to get past the fact that we are leaving the cake for Santa, because I have issues (stemming back to childhood) with the Claus family as well....I'm sure Sinter Klaus was a nice enough gentleman; but still not a fan....that's all spelled out in a previous post from this time last year, so I won't get into that again. As I said, it's not that I don't enjoy many of these's just that I oftentimes feel like it's out of control,excessive and for the wrong reasons. Jesus doesn't care one iota about a Christmas card or decorating a tree. Actually I think He would think it was perfectly okay if we didn't do most of those things and just spent all the time, that we would have at parties and gift exchanges, in His word or serving another! I know many many many people don't agree and think all these activities and events are just part of the season, and that's perfectly okay....everyone has his/her opinion about the season; and since this is my blog....I'm sharing mine here and now. I'm just venting about stating how I feel during this time of year....I don't believe in overabundance or excessiveness. In fact it gets on my last nerve if you want to know the truth. I know that I am so very fortunate to live in a house, have food to eat, clothes to wear, clean water, and the other basic necessities of life plus many many many extras; and honestly I use to never really think about how fortunate I was to have those things and was never really truly grateful! So when my husband's company owners use to treat us to a very extravagant and expensive Christmas party and dinner, I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was great. But today if they still did that....I don't even know if I would seems so wasteful to spend tens of thousands of dollars to feed perfectly healthy and some very wealthy individuals, who spent a small fortune on their outfit for the night, when there are people literally in our own neighborhood starving and homeless. There are so many of us who focus so much on living in abundance and materialism that we can't even see the needs around us. Christmas time seems to be one of the worst times of the year as far as abundance, excessiveness and materialism go. I use to be that way and am by no means Mother Teresa, and I still struggle with wants vs. needs; but I have been praying and searching for what God is leading me to do as far as "stuff" goes. Simply I just want to celebrate the birth of Jesus like we should celebrate it every day of the praising, thanksgiving, and serving! I'm not saying a LITTLE extra celebrating this time of year is a bad thing....I'm saying that A LOT of extra celebrating this time of year without Jesus at the center is....well....not for me! JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON....sometimes we forget that!