Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A BABY

Last night I dreamt I was expecting twins....I didn't actually dream it....I fantasized about it as I lay awake trying to sleep. I was picturing which room they would occupy in our house and how so very excited, loving, and helpful my other children would be with their new siblings. And although I'm 44 and rarely without pain from arthritis, I would give my right arm...not really but you know what I mean....to be pregnant! I love being pregnant!
Late tonight I got a message from one of my dear sweet friends telling me that she is pregnant. Twins??? Don't know....she is barely pregnant! I was so overjoyed and excited for her that I couldn't stop smiling and actually shed a little tear when I thought about her having another chance to have a baby in her house. She told me that she and her husband had been on the fence about having anymore children, but ultimately their hearts won out. They decided that they would never regret having another child, but they may regret not having another! I told her I knew exactly what she was talking about!
I can't wait to take newborn pictures!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Am Blessed!

Today is my 44th birthday....I love birthdays and am so grateful to have another year to celebrate!
I treasure so much....
my children
my husband
my mom
my in-laws
me extended family
my friends
my church
my health
My Jesus!
loving
laughing
hugging
holding hands
kissing boo-boos
kissing tiny toes
reading books
reading The Bible
prayers
cuddling
saying "I Love You!"
hearing "I Love You!"
family time
dinners at our big farmhouse table
using Granny's salad bowl at our meals
walks around the neighborhood
spending time at the lake with our friends
singing bedtime songs
giggling
snuggling in my comfy bed
old things
hot cups of coffee
very hot baths
freckles
smiling faces
talents of all kinds
and many many many more!
It's been a good year! I am so blessed!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Jesus Is The Reason!


The thing I love most about Christmas is that we are celebrating the birth of Our Savior. One thing I enjoy most, during the season, is baking a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Eve and leaving a piece for Santa. Birthdays are a big deal in The Payne house….not as in getting a lot of gifts….but as in celebrating another year of life together. I love birthdays! This past year, I have many things to celebrate….many bright spots….here a few:

The absolute joy and blessing that my five children bring me each day….even when they are grumpy!

Addi holding a fundraiser, in honor of her brother, and raising over $2500 for Autism Speaks…..thank you for supporting her efforts.

Cal loving middle school, trying all sorts of new foods, wearing a jacket and his awesome teacher Ms. Tandy.

Drew continuing to try to save the planet and every animal on it.

Bryna dancing and singing her way through life….always with a joyful heart.

Elliot always telling me, “Mommy, You’re Fabliless (fabulous)!” and “I love you so in my heart!”

Enjoying a wonderful beach vacation and visit to our extended family in Louisiana.

Going to Game 3 of The World Series with Neil….YES THE RANGERS WON THAT ONE! Thanks Melinda and Matt for the tickets!

Play dates with our friends!

Picking blackberries at the blackberry farm!

Seeing my friend, Lisa, walk into church on July 4th holding their new foster baby girl…Maggie!

My mother moving right down the street in a few weeks!

Girl Scouts!

The surprise anniversary party that Addi threw for Neil and I….18 years!

Addi’s freckles.

A wonderful job at a wonderful preschool with the best co-workers and boss ever!

Staring at Elliot when she is really enjoying something.

Taking up an entire pew as we all 7 sit together in church on Sunday mornings.

The gift of being able to photograph so many wonderful people!

Spending a few days of Spring Break in Athens with 2 of my lifelong friends and families.

Addi being honored with “The Kindness” award in her school’s awards assembly.

Being healthy enough to start a running program and run 4 miles by the time I finished it!

Watching Bryna dance in the aisles during praise and worship.

The love, support and companionship of the greatest husband in the world.

Cal’s soulful eyes.

Drew being nominated to her school’s Hall of Fame just for being her sweet little self.

Cal’s 5th grade awards assembly and the special tribute that was made in his honor (even though I sobbed through the whole thing and cry now as I type this…it was a definite bright spot).

Singing my children songs at night.

Elliot making me laugh every single day with things she does and says!

Listening to Drew teach Bryna how to play the piano.

Eating dinner together nearly every night of the week and sharing our Roses and Thorns.

Listening to Cal sing in his room when he doesn’t know I’m listening.

Sleeping late.

Listening to my girls sing in the church choir.

Our neighbors!

My church family!

Bryna’s toothless smile.

Little hands and little feet.

Bryna winning the music award in kindergarten.

Elliot in her first dance recital….Dec. 18th!

Cal getting the gold medal in bowling at the Special Olympics.

My friend, Angie, bringing me a Starbucks every Thursday morning.

Holding hands.

Drew’s compassionate “old” soul.

Date nights!

The snow hill at Six Flags!

SUMMER!

Watching Bryna dance….she’s amazing!

Watching Cal do the softball throw at the special olympics….he’s strong!

.Listening to Addi play xylophone and drums….she’s fantastic.

Watching Drew play soccer….she’s determined.

Listening to Elliot say the blessing at our meals….it’s priceless.

Having the best girlfriends anyone could ask for.

Having all of our needs met.

Addi and Neil going on mission trips together and helping so many who need it.

Watching my girls grow in their faith and love Jesus.

Giving back to our neighbors….near and far.

Neil being quite handy around the house!

Our “adopted” African orphans….Purity and Nanis.

My 13 year old who still enjoys spending time with her family.

My 9 year old who loves for me to tuck her in and insists on taking a family picture with her to sleepovers, so she won’t miss us too much.

My 7 year old who still sits in my lap and loves it.

My 4 year old who would rather spend the day playing with me than anything else….except maybe playing with her daddy.

My son, my sweet boy, who recently looked me in the eye and said “I love you Mom!” for the first time in his life (without being prompted)!

Jesus Christ working in my life!

Happy Birthday To The Light Of The World!

Go out and celebrate….all year long!

Lorie and The Payne Family!

Monday, December 20, 2010

MOO

It's official....my mama is moving right down the street in a few short months. She has been on the wait list for govt. funded housing for 18 months and finally got a place. Actually 18 months isn't very long to wait from what I understand. The Payne household is so excited to have Moo, that's what we call her, walking distance from us. There will be some challenges along the way....since she is disabled and in a wheelchair....but I am confident we will overcome those, and she will be just as happy about the move as we are. Not only will we be able to drop by much more often, but she will be able to go to church with us (the house is right next door to our church), come over to our house more often, not to mention she will be saving a lot of money in rent. Her rent is based on a percentage of what her monthly income is, so it's quite reasonable. Plus since she does not have health insurance and pays part of her medicaid, she gets some sort of discount or kick back from that as well. I'm very proud of my mom and how well she's been able to manage living alone, since my dad passed 5 years ago. She still requires assistance, but overall....her hard headedness and determination has helped her to remain independent for the most part. This is going to be good!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Best Friend!

This is my beautiful best friend and her handsome brood of boys! To see more, click here!

Friday, December 17, 2010

WORRY

I'm a worrier by nature....I worry....it's what I do or did! I have discovered that I'm what I've classified as a "Future Worrier" which means I think about something that is going to happen and then I worry about it. It could be something that's going to happen soon (like taking Elli to the dentist to get a cavity filled) or something that's going to happen a long long long time from now (like who my children are going to marry). Nonetheless....I use to "Future Worry" all the time. When Cal was in 4th grade, I found myself in an inner turmoil about him going to middle school....2 years away! One day, I was reading my devotion; and I came across the scripture "FEAR NOT, FOR I AM WITH YOU!" Isaiah 41:10. From that moment on, when I start to feel myself worrying....I will say that out loud to myself, take a deep breath, and consciously put it out of my mind. The other night, I lye awake and right before I dozed off...the "FUTURE WORRYING" started. I was nearly paralyzed with fear....about....my Addi going to high school next year! And that's not all....I became so deeply saddened by the thought of her going to a different high school than so many of her really good friends....that I choked back tears. I can't believe my child will be in high school...."FEAR NOT, FOR I AM WITH YOU!" For now, I'm going to shove that fear out of my mind and be grateful that my child is healthy, smart, and thriving enough to go to high school! I WILL NOT BE AFRAID! I WILL NOT WORRY!

All I Want For Christmas Is.....

I can't believe Christmas is 8 days away....not because I'm not prepared...I have actually gotten everything bought and wrapped....but because TIME IS FLYING BY! For Christmas, I want a pause button....I just want to pause life for the next two weeks and make them last a lot longer.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

SHOPPING IS HARD WORK!

Christmas shopping is harder work than about any job I have. Shopping for my 5 children and getting them something practical, that they will love, that's not too much money, that's not over the top.....is hard work. We don't buy our children lots of stuff....they usually each get one gift from us....a gift from SC...and something in their stocking. This year, they are getting a very boring practical gift from NPayne and me; so we have opted to get them a group gift as well....and NO, it's not a trampoline! Honestly.....I think they will really love the group gift and even like their boring practical gift as well.

FOCUS....FOCUS!

A few more gifts to wrap....
A few more celebrations to attend....
A few more days of school....
A few more cards to address....
A few more things to catch up on....
A few more photos to edit....
And then....
I can sit down and breathe!
I'm busy but focused....focused on the true meaning of Christmas! JESUS!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I Regret Doing As A Mother....Take One!

I really regret taking Callahan's pacifier away from him so early. I know this may seem like a random thing to be harping on....since he's 11 and all, but....I have been in a few different discussions about my children and what they used to calm themselves or get themselves to sleep as babies. In each discussion, I was asked if any of my children used a paci; so I was "forced" to talk about it. It bothered me a little when we ripped the paci weaned him off of the paci, but the last few times I've talked about it; it brought me to tears. Callahan was 15 months old, and he was going to be at "school" where I worked every day. He had his paci in his mouth 24/7.....he never was without it. I had the bright idea that I should just break him of the paci cold turkey, so I did. We did the whole cutting the tip off deal, and let me just say that my baby cried himself to sleep for a week; and it was horrible. It was only a week, but it seemed like one of the longest weeks of my life. Cal had not been diagnosed with anything at 15 months, and honestly if he had; I probably would not have taken his paci. Because little did I know, but he really NEEDED it. I mean he really needed it. He has such heightened senses and struggles with many sensory issues....which have gotten much better over the years....but when he was little, it shaped most of what he would wear and eat. After the week of crying without his paci, he learned to soothe himself by sucking really hard on his tongue. It wasn't until years later, after he was diagnosed and he was much older, when I watched him sucking his tongue as he fell asleep that I broke down and sobbed. I felt so badly for taking away that need, and obviously I still do. Some day....if he ever understands what I'm talking about....I will tell him again how sorry I am that I took away his paci too early.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

TWINS!!!

For more twin photos, click here!

LOST

Sometimes I get lost in her. I have gotten lost in all of my children and still do, but I find myself really lost in her. With each child born, I have learned that I need to relish in every moment I can; because.....before you know it.....they are grown up. With growing up comes.....less time to get lost in them, so I get lost in her often. I find myself staring at her as she colors, sleeps in her carseat, eats her lunch, sings to herself, sucks her thumb and rubs her Pinky Pie's ear on her cheek. I stare at her face, and I get lost; and I LOVE it!





Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday Sermon Summary....Stay Awake and Focus!

This time of year, I use to feel really guilty about how I was feeling inside....BAH HUMBUG! Now I only feel a little guilty about feeling that way, BUT....now I'm not afraid to say it out loud....ready....set..... GO ..... I AM NOT A FAN OF materialistic, spending lots of money, being overly busy with "fun" stuff, buying lots of presents, and the list goes on Americanized Christmas.
There, I said it, whew! I am not a fan of this time of year, because I feel like the focus is taken off of the real reason we celebrate Christmas....JESUS! A few years ago, my favorite pastor, Cindy wrote an article for our local paper and led a sermon on just that....Christmas becoming too Americanized. Once she admitted that she too was not a fan of all the hullabaloo that goes along with the season, I breathed a sigh of relief and realized I WAS NOT ALONE....and not only was I not alone....but a pastor was feeling the same way I was. After that, we minimalized everything....we put out stockings and decorated a tree (and truly that was only because I have 5 children). This year, I think we will decorate a little more; but only what we have time to do in an enjoyable state of mind. As the season approached, I started feeling the guilt of "not enjoying all the stuff that takes over the true meaning of Christmas" feeling; but yesterday at church....guess who was preaching? YESSIREE....my beloved Cindy! Guess what her sermon was about? YESSIREE....the real focus of Christmas. She even had scripture to back her up....imagine that....The Bible telling us to focus on JESUS....not just at Christmas but every minute of every single day!

Romans 13:11-14 (The Message)

11-14But make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can't afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

And another...

Matthew 24:36-44 (The Message)

36"But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven's angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.

37-39"The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah's. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.

39-44"The Son of Man's Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.

Stay focused on our Lord Jesus Christ, and this year....Simplify, Subtract, and Say "NO". Focus on the gift God gave us in His Son, the gift He gives us in His blood, the gift He gives us in His grace! We don't know when He will come, but we do know that He will come!

This Makes Me Happy.....



Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm Thankful For....

...Jesus Christ my Savior
...NPayne, the man who balances me out
...my sweet babes who I adore and treasure
...my family who blesses me daily
...my wonderful church, church family, and church leaders
...all of our basic necessities and then some
...God's word
...love
...living in the USA
...hot coffee
...my comfy bed with clean sheets
...a car to drive us where we need to go
...loving and generous friends who I learn so much from
...excited giggles that wake me up in the morning
...my life and my health
...my children's lives and their health
...NPayne's health and his life
...kisses and hugs
...and so so so much more
...and on this day, I am thankful for the privelege and right to be thankful!
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change
-James 1:17
...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

HOME- the older the better!

Can you guess what they are going to do?
Now do you know?
What about now?
Ahhh....after a few tries...because the construction workers
came back and smoothed over our first attempt....
We finally got all 10 hands in our driveway!
And I added the date, so that when I'm really old and
can't remember anything (oh wait....I already can't remember anything)
I would know how old my babes were when they left these.

I had a dream last night....I had a dream that we moved into another house. Some of you know that I would love to live in the country, so a dream about a move would normally be a good dream. However this move was just across town in a very new house. In the dream, I was walking around the new house with boxes full of our stuff everywhere; and I walked into the backyard. When I saw how small it was, I began to cry. I remember thinking what have we done? Why did we leave our big beautiful old house? In the dream I was crying and nervous about how I was going to tell NPayne that I thought I we had made a huge mistake.
He walked into the door and saw me crying, and I said...."I want to go home!"
He hugged me (no surprise there) and said "Me too!" Although the house was really nice and updated and everyone would have their own room, blah, blah, blah....it was not our home. In the end, we were able to go back to our "old" house; and in the dream....I walked in and looked at the floors that need to be refinished, the cracks that need to be repaired, and all the many other things that need to be done; and I smiled! We were back where we belong....the place all 5 of our babies had been brought home to....the place where we have spent every Christmas morning of their lives....the place that NPayne, my dad and I have worked so hard to make the place we will watch our children grow up....HOME! I think God was reminding me that although there's work to be done, we are so very fortunate to have a place we call HOME! Thank You Jesus!~

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

I'm leading a lesson, in my SS class, about being grateful and thankful. I have put a lot of thought into this lesson, since I agreed to lead it. As you might have read in my previous post, NPayne and I are both very grateful people....me by making a conscious effort to do so....him in a much more natural capacity. However one of the things that I realized while preparing for and thinking about this lesson is this....I want my children to be successful in school, I want them to make good grades, I want them to be accepted, I want them to be successful; BUT....I realized that really, deep down in my soul, I want them to be successful in life. What I mean is that....making good grades, being a good reader, etc. is fine; but being a kind person, a grateful person, a serving person, a christian is what I ultimately want for them. Do I dare say that school is not my number 1 priority for them to be successful? I mean....Hello....I'm an educator! Sure school is important, and yes it will help them to be successful....especially in today's society where there is so much pressure to be the best....but honestly to me....having a kind and generous and grateful and serving spirit and heart will help them be successful in what's really important: ANSWERING THE CALL! I think, having a child with special needs, Cal has really helped me see that you don't have to be the best reader or writer or academic student to be successful in life; because obviously he's not the best student....not even close...but being a good friend with a kind heart who will pray for someone or help someone or just have days where they are on their knees thanking God is what will help you be successful in life. You may not end up with a big house, or a car, or lots of stuff; but if you are faithful and trust and truly rely on God....you will end up with so much more. Below is a video that I put together with the help of my sweet and very talented Addi....it's going to accompany my lesson tomorrow. Most all of these photos are of folks in our church doing some sort of service or of someone who has been served by a ministry of our church. I'll be the first to say that a church doesn't make you a christian, but I'll also be the first to say how my church family and the heart of my church has helped me, in so many ways, grow as a christian and in my relationship with Christ!
ENJOY!




video

Remember to scroll down and pause the music, so you can hear the video. This song, by Matthew West, "My Own Little World" is such a good reminder that it's not about us! Listen to the words....really listen!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GRATEFUL

Hopefully I'll be back to blogging daily soon. I've been swamped with Christmas photos and cards (good thing) along with many other things, and in order to actually sleep; I had to put something on the back burner. Unfortunately it's been blogging. I'm working on a Sunday School lesson, that I will be leading in our adult SS class, about gratitude and thankfulness. I've thought a lot about this lately and have decided that NPayne and myself are some of the most grateful people we know! Now I don't say that to toot my own horn, boast, brag, etc. I say that, because I make a conscious effort to be grateful and so I am. As far as NPayne goes, I think it's a more natural thing for him. As a matter of fact, he has certainly made me aware of being grateful much more; and I thank him dearly for it. Being grateful and giving thanks is very important to me....especially something I want my children to do and appreciate. As soon as I've processed this more and finished the lesson, I'll share more on THANKSGIVING and being GRATEFUL! If you have any comments about this topic, please share! I thank God for all of you!
L

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm Thankful For Our Street!

So our street has been under construction for several weeks now. We haven't been able to park in our driveway, much less on our street, for most of the time. Good news....I guess....is we are getting a curb and a sidewalk put in. I'm overjoyed, can you hear the sarcasm excitement in my voice? It's almost finished, so I am so thankful. I bet our neighbors are as well....especially Ms. Pam, who lives next door to us, and has a difficult time getting around and now is having to park on the busy street and track through our large yard, all the dirt piles and tools, etc. to get to her house. And also Ms. Diane....whose car was flattened in the back by an oncoming car that didn't realize that all of our cars were parked on the street. Not sure how one doesn't notice this, but apparently they didn't. We are in the home stretch, and as I type this my car is parked in the driveway... :) These pictures are from a few weeks ago.
View from our front porch to Ms. Diane's house.
View from our front porch to where our
cars are parked on the street.
There's my suburban, and the entrance to our driveway.
Our street in its dirt, mud like condition.
The large piles of dirt in front of our house and all the
way down the street.
A very large hole next to our driveway!

As I said....I'm thankful it's almost complete. Although I didn't ask for curbs or sidewalks,
I guess it will be a nice addition to our street.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TODAY...I am thankful for another day!

RISE AND SHINE!
COFFEE!
Encourage the big girls to get their breakfast and eat, then brush teeth and hair!
Help Elliot with her breakfast and clothes and brushing her teeth!
Take Bryna and Elliot to school!
Baby M arrives!
Picking up Elliot from school!
Lunch!
Cleaning Up!
Baby M napping (hopefully), so I can shower!
Working on my SS lesson!
Playing Candy Land and Hullabaloo with Elliot!
Watching her write her name and many other words she is learning to write!
Picking up my other 4 babes from school!
Looking forward to the excitement in Drew's face when she shows me the books she received at school!
Snacks and Homework!
Listening to Bryna read her readers!
Devotion!
Listening to Drew practice the piano!
Taking Drew to piano and Baby M to her foster mama!
Taking Addi to Bible Study and picking Drew up from piano!
Dropping Drew and Bryna at choir practice and heading to Bible Study with Pastor Ken!
Kissing my babes goodnight!
DINNER OUT WITH MY GIRLFRIENDS to celebrate 3 of their birthdays!
Home!
Hot Shower!
Make lunches for the next day!
Get in my bed and veg with Cal!
ZZZZZZZZZZ!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Sermon Summary:Judging Other Based On Their Appearance!

Our sermon today was about many things but one of the things Ken discussed was judging people based on their appearance. He used 1 Samuel 16....where Samuel is sent by God to find a new King.....

1 Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king.”

2 But Samuel asked, “How can I do that? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

“Take a heifer with you,” the Lord replied, “and say that you have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you which of his sons to anoint for me.”

4 So Samuel did as the Lord instructed. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town came trembling to meet him. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “Do you come in peace?”

5 “Yes,” Samuel replied. “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then Samuel performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice, too.

6 When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

8 Then Jesse told his son Abinadab to step forward and walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “This is not the one the Lord has chosen.” 9 Next Jesse summoned Shimea,[a] but Samuel said, “Neither is this the one the Lord has chosen.” 10 In the same way all seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”

“Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”

12 So Jesse sent for him. He was dark and handsome, with beautiful eyes.

And the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.”

13 So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.

In this passage, you can read that if a King was being chosen solely on his appearance....David was least likely. What God is saying is that his appearance is not that important....but it's what's in his heart. I think at some point, everyone has been guilty of judging someone or something based on appearances. How many times have we done that and realized what a mistake that was? Really what it boils down to is....it's not our place to judge....period! I think there is a difference in judging and discerning. What I mean by that is this....if you feel really uncomfortable about a situation....like as in it could be potentially dangerous for you or someone else....and all you really have to base that on is the circumstance or appearance, then I think that's different than if you choose not to sit somewhere solely because of a person's skin color, how they are dressed, or what language they are speaking. Sadly enough this sermon was quite appropriate for my daughter Addi and I today. We went somewhere, after church, to grab everyone some lunch. While we were there, I noticed a black van slowly pull in beside us. As it slowly pulled into the parking space next to us, I could see where someone had scratched down the side of this van....with a key or something like that....and it crudely said KKK. My heart skipped a beat, and I heard myself groan...."OH NO!" I then perched my head, so I could see if my suspicions were correct....and yes....they were....there was an older African American man driving the van. Addi looked at me curiously and asked what was wrong, so I began to explain it all to her. She had never heard of the KKK, so I gave her a brief description that ended with something like this...."I try really hard to see the good and positive in all situations, but honestly I can't tell you anything good about the KKK!" As we drove off, I noticed that the same crude key scratching....KKK....was down the passenger side of the gentleman's van as well; and my heart was saddened even more. When we got home and all sat down for lunch, we were discussing church and the sermon; and I told NPayne and the other girls about the incident. Of course Drew and Bryna had no idea what the KKK was, so again I briefly described it to them. Then we talked about how inappropriate, sad, and just plain stupid silly it is for someone to be judged because of how they look. And how inappropriate, sad, and just plain stupid silly it is for someone to think they are better than someone else because of their appearance. It was a good teachable moment, but honestly it is so disheartening to witness so much disrespect, hate, and judgement on someone....even though all I did was read it on his van.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

C&C

A lovely brother and sister duo....absolutely beautiful! Thanks Lisa for giving me the opportunity to photograph your lovely children!

To see more of C&C, click here!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Life Goes On!

I've been feeling under the weather for about a week or so....SORE THROAT out the whazoo! Now the annoying coughing....when there's really no reason to cough....has begun! I've been living on DayQuil....not really, but I am about to start! Sorry I've been so lax in the blogging lately, but along with the "feeling under the weather" aspect of my life comes the " taking and editing photos, keeping Baby M, working at the preschool, checking homework, doing laundry, watching The World Series....proud of my Rangers (even though they didn't win)....etc., etc., etc." aspect of my life. I have a really impactful post brewing....give me a minute to breathe and recover....and I'll get to posting! Thanks for reading and checking in daily (for those of you who do)! And for now, I'm headed to bed with some NyQuil.....my favorite place to be....don't believe me? Read my sidebar! By the way, that's not me in the photo....in case you didn't notice ;) .....I'm not near that cute!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I HATE TO BRAG, BUT....Game 3!

video

Remember to scroll down to the bottom of the blog and mute the music, so you can hear the delightful song by Hall and Oates on the video!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Rangers have lost the first two...and I am BUMMED! So to brighten my day and hopefully yours, I just finished editing these photos. To see more of this fabulous family of 8, click here!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ENCOURAGE THEM!

NPayne and I have the following expectation....if you put forth your best effort, then we are happy with whatever the outcome may be. This includes school, sports, Bible Study, everything. Of course I want my children to be succesful in school, sports, dance, etc.; but what I really want for them is to have integrity and good character.....to be happy! I'm not a parent who has put a lot of thought into where they are going to college or what they are going to be when they grow up, or where they are going to live....I'm a parent who has put a lot of thought into how they treat others, helping them learn to be responsible people, encouraging them to take care of their temple, being accepting and kind and loving. Last night two of my girls and I had a little.....ahem....civilized meeting.....where I shared some expectations, and they.....LISTENED! I We decided that I would help them with a few things over the next week or so.....just to make sure we're on the right track. As they both agreed with big smiles on their faces (insert sarcasm), they scooted off to finish homework or go to bed; I got started on a few things to encourage them in a few areas where there have been some struggles. As soon as it's complete, I'll share.....
For now, I sent them off to school with high expectations and encouragement for their afternoon arrival.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

GAME 3

HOLY MOLY GUACAMOLE....HELP ME HENRY....GOOD GRAVY.....GOOD NIGHT NURSE!
My sister in law and her beau just gave us two
tickets to Game 3 of The World Series!
One of my lifelong aspirations has just come true!!
I can never in a gazillion years thank you enough Melinda and Matt.
I was weeping true sports tears of joy Friday when the Rangers won
the Championship, and again today when I was holding these tickets.
I am completely VERKLEMPT!

Friday, October 22, 2010

WORLD SERIES

There are a lot of things I want to do in my lifetime. Honestly most of them involve living life the way God intended and nothing too fancy.
Would I like to go to Italy?
Would I like to go on a cruise?
Would I like to own a fancy car?
Would I like to own a vacation home?
These are definitely things I would do....if given the opportunity (except driving the fancy car....I'm not a fancy car kinda gal), BUT....these are not goals I strive to do in my lifetime. I think these are things that would definitely be grand and probably something I would enjoy thoroughly. However the things I would really like to do....in my lifetime are things I know would excite me beyond belief and things I would enjoy IMMENSELY.
I've always wanted to be on The Price Is Right....not just in the audience, but an actual contestant! Playing Plinko or whatever and spinning the wheel to get in the SHOWCASE!!! Yes siree!
I've always wanted to go on a tour of Graceland....I'm an Elvis fan....not a fanatic...just a fan! But I think Nashville, Memphis, many parts of Tennessee would be great to see; but especially Graceland.
I've always wanted to go to a World Series game....any game really....but if it was one where my home team was playing....HELP ME HENRY...that would be simply spectacular.
I've never doubted my Texas Rangers could make it to a World Series, although they haven't yet. As I sit here and type this, I watch them playing for the Championship against the Yankees. One more game and....WORLD SERIES here we come. Baseball is by far my favorite sport.
NPayne likes BB too, but his favorite would be football. Many years ago, we were given the chance to go to the SuperBowl in Atlanta. Not only did we get to go to the Super Bowl, BUT we got to see our home team....the Dallas Cowboys play and....drum roll please....WIN! I'll have to admit it was pretty grand. Now we are this close to seeing our favorite baseball team play in the world series, and ....drum roll please....I know they can WIN! Although I likely won't get to actually attend the world series and have that dream come to fruition....since the tickets in the upper deck are currently selling for about $400. I'm not giving up on them going again and getting a chance to go. As for this year, I'm not completely giving up on going. I'll keep begging searching for a ticket I can afford. The tailgating, souvenirs, dot races are all fun; but for me.....it's all about the game.
Now....excuse me while I look for things in our house to sell...so I can get a ticket! ;) I'll keep you posted on the outcome!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Balance....Or Lack There Of!

I'm struggling a little lately with balance. This is really nothing new....I struggle with this a lot. Sometimes more than others, and lately it's more. Am I where I'm suppose to be? Am I doing what I'm suppose to be doing? Honestly I don't really feel like I am, BUT....I have more to consider than just myself....so I wait and pray for guidance. And in the meantime...I'll continue to praise Him, seek Him and grow my relationship with Him.

Monday, October 18, 2010

This is one of the many things I did this weekend....I know you're dying to see more from this family! They were FABULOSO to shoot. Wanna see more? I know you do, so click here!

Where Have I Been?

I realized today that it has almost been one week, since I've blogged.....GOOD GRIEF! Things have been crazy busy, and honestly I'm exhausted. WHEW! The Christmas photo sessions are starting to be in full swing, and as much as I absolutely adore taking photos....editing....making cards....etc.; it's a lot of work and takes much of my time. Then of course there's keeping Baby M....she is a really good baby....but I can't get much done when she's in my care, because well....she's a baby! Then there's the preschool job, then there's the keeping up with the house cleaning, then there's the shuffling kids here and there, then there's the infamous Spookarama coming up this weekend.....I can't wait for that one! Needless to say, it's a busy season for me right now....and as we all know....I am not a fan of being overly busy! I need a little down time, so with that being said....as soon as I finish that photo book, pack my lunch box for work tomorrow, blow dry my hair, fold up those clothes that have been sitting in that laundry basket since yesterday, mop the kitchen floor....because I can't stand the floor to be dirty, and get my clothes and Elli's clothes out for school; I am going to curl up in my bed and finish watching the Ranger game. Unless of course it's over by then, then I'll just ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

FOUR DAY WEEKEND

RESPITE Night
Night alone shopping
High School Football
Soccer Game
Dinner together
Church together
Ranger Game :(
Cleaning House
Bible Study
Dinner with my best friend
NPayne day off
Karate Kid
Letters To God
Driving Range
Dinner together with Grandma
Trip to Braums for ice cream
Staying in our PJs
Lounging around
LAUGHING
LAUGHING
LAUGHING
Love being together for 4 full days!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mixed Emotions

Life on earth can be so joyful.....and so sorrowful. It's a good thing that it's only temporary, and that there is so much more waiting for us!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bullying

I remember being bullied once, but only once. I was at the skating rink when I was in 4th grade, and some middle school girls decided to tease me for what I was wearing. They even cornered me in the bathroom to tease. I have to admit, I was a little quirky, when I was younger; and my parents let me embrace that quirkiness which I applaud them for. For the most part....I fit in, made friends. and did well in school....even though I was extremely shy. Other than that one time, I don't ever remember being bullied. Two of my five children have been bullied at one time or another, one verbally and one physically and verbally. Thank GOD, our school and the teachers were right on top of this and took complete control of the situations and handled it. I never had to do anything but tell them what was going on. I was so worried about Cal being bullied in middle school that I even asked Addi if that was going to be a problem. She said, "No....kids with special needs don't get bullied. It's the kids that don't fit in, that get bullied!" It makes me so very sad to know that there are kids....being so hurtful and hateful to another that it would drive them to take their own life. I remember telling my daughter, that was bullied, that we should pray for those boys who were bullying her. She looked a little confused at first. I explained that I thought bullies bullied, because there is something really unhappy or unstable in their lives; so they take it out on others. I told her that was definitely not the right way to handle their unhappiness or problems, but sometimes they are just doing what they know. However, I definitely think these children should be held responsible for their actions. My friend, Robin, shared a link to a blogpost written by Single Dad Laughing about his experience with being bullied. I encourage you to read it from the bullies stand point and from the bullied stand point, and keep your eyes, ears and hearts open.
Watch for signs and do something to stop it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

STEWARDSHIP!

Serving from the heart....what do you think that means? I think it means exactly what it says....serving in areas where your heart leads you to serve. Sometimes we also may serve in areas where our heart doesn't necessarily lead us to serve, but once we get there; we realize that we were suppose to be serving there all along. And sometimes we get there and realize that maybe it's not something God was calling us to do. I also think that serving means being the hands and feet of Jesus, as well as or in addition to, serving with financial support. We are told to be cheerful givers.

2 Corinthians 9:7 (New International Version)

7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

I know for me, I was never taught to tithe; so when I started attending church regularly....it felt odd and oftentimes my tithe took a backseat to other expenditures. Now I treat tithing as a monthly expense, and I pray about it often. I feel that although NPayne and I are not in a financial place to tithe the 10% The Bible tells us to....we are giving "what we have decided in our hearts to give". I can't speak for NPayne, but I can say that I honestly tithe cheerfully; but I also tithe with a longing for more. To some people, our tithe may not seem like much....but to us, it is; and we do give til it hurts. In a few years, many things will change....our house will be paid for, many of our debts will be paid off, and although we will accrue new expenses with having a child of driving age and then college and then another child to follow and another and another and another.....I feel positive that we will be able to tithe more. Before our current pastor was our pastor, there was a pastor who led our church....who....how shall I say this kindly....let everything revolve around money. Now I am not being judgmental....I'm not.....I'm being honest. There were many inappropriate handlings of people in the congregation's money, and it was not pretty. It was a manipulative situation, and if you didn't tithe A LOT....you were not invited to sit on any committee or be involved with any sort of decision making or leadership in the church; so of course....NPayne and I were NEVER invited. As a matter of fact, when someone mentioned my name for a committee....they were told "NO" and it was because I didn't "give" enough. It didn't matter if a member walked the walk and talked the talk....if you didn't "give" enough money....in this man's opinon....you were just a number in the count on Sunday morning. I'll admit later when I found out about all of this manipulation, misuse, etc.; I was a little angry but mostly I was sad. I felt like I was being judged on my monetary worth only and who cares if you LOVE Jesus, are being called to serve, want to serve, are giving until it hurts....that doesn't make any difference. But I know IT DOES! I know that committees, in our church and maybe all churches, should be made up of people with a vested interest in the church and congregation and all of those we serve. I know that sometimes that's people who are the hands and feet, sometimes that's people who have the financial means, and sometimes that's people who are both. I know it may seem like an odd dream for those who already tithe 10% or those who have never tithed at all, but I cannot wait until the day comes that we can tithe more. I feel like it is a gift for us to be able to support our church, its missions, and ministries by going out and doing, by praying, and by giving! I thank God for the opportunity to serve with gifts, service, presence and witness!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

For more information about Christmas specials, visit LoriePaynePhotography!

Sunday Sermon Summary: ANGER

The dictionary describes being angry as:
–adjective, -gri·er, -gri·est.
1.
feeling or showing anger or strong resentment (usually fol.by at, with, or about ): to be angry at the dean; to be angryabout the snub.
2.
expressing, caused by, or characterized by anger; wrathful:angry words.
3.
Chiefly New England and Midland U.S. inflamed, as a sore;exhibiting inflammation.
4.
(of an object or phenomenon) exhibiting a characteristic orcreating a mood associated with anger or danger, as bycolor, sound, force, etc.: an angry sea; the boom of angryguns.
The sermon today was about anger.
Ken finished the study on the book of Jonah with Jonah Chapter 4.
Jonah 4
Jonah's Anger at the Lord 's Compassion
1 But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live."

4 But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?"

5 Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live."

9 But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?"
"I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die."

10 But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"

Being angry....we have all been angry, maybe are currently angry, and will most certainly be angry again at some point in the future. Being angry is a normal emotion, a feeling that humans experience....sometimes more often than we would care for! Sometimes a situation that has made us angry has been over and done with for quite some time, and maybe the person/people who we are angry at...don't even know you're angry; but we still stew it over in our minds and let it take control of our hearts. I think one of the hardest things to do is to forget....it's not that challenging for me to forgive someone, but forgetting is something I have a hard time doing....and sometimes I hold onto it longer than I should. As I said earlier, anger is a natural emotion for humans; and it's not wrong to be angry. I think where being angry can cause harm is how we handle the anger. The Bible tells us it's okay to be angry, but It also tells us to be careful in how we handle our anger.

Ephesians 4:26-27 (The Message)

26-27Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry. Don't go to bed angry. Don't give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.


This week in my Bible Study, we also discussed anger and the appropriateness of that emotion. One of the ladies who attends told us how one of her high school coaches use to explain being angry to them. The coach told them (I'm paraphrasing here) there's a difference in being angry and being mad.....if you are angry, it is a controlled emotion. A feeling you get, but a feeling that you should be able to sit down, take a deep breath and think about how to handle it before you react. Being mad is not a controlled emotion....it's flying off the handle, reacting before you think, oftentimes doing or saying something you might really regret.

The dictionary describes being mad as:

–adjective

1.
mentally disturbed; deranged; insane; demented.
2.
enraged; greatly provoked or irritated; angry.
3.
(of animals)
a.
abnormally furious; ferocious: a mad bull.
b.
affected with rabies; rabid: a mad dog.
4.
extremely foolish or unwise; imprudent; irrational: a madscheme to invade France.


Sure there are times when we are going to be angry, but remember that The Bible instructs us not to sin in our anger, use our anger to fuel revenge, let the sun go down while we are angry, let the Devil get a foothold on us. Honestly if you remember these few verses next time someone cuts you off in traffic, doesn't clean their room, leaves their socks on the floor, or more extremely....hurts or wrongs someone you love; your anger can be just what it is intended to be....a rational emotion. Deal with your anger and then move on....forgive even if the person who wronged you doesn't know they've wronged you....forgive. Holding on to your anger is much more detrimental to you than to anyone else.