Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Harrison!

Harrison, our middle son, turned 7 years old today! We threw a birthday party for Harrison yesterday and he wanted a camping theme. We created fun, crafty invitations (yes, I have some crafty-ness buried deep within!)... Because Harrison was turning 7, he was allowed to invite 7 friends to the party.
We had so much fun preparing for the party! We just had our fence replaced, so the back yard was the perfect location for a camping party. We set up the small tent as a decoration, borrowed a patio fire pit from a friend, ordered a camping cake, bought supplies, blew up balloons, raked the yard, trimmed the bushes, etc. etc. etc. The yard was ready, the party was ready... bring on the kids! Four of Harrison's friends came to the party (which made 7 little boys, including my 3... plenty of little boys!!!). First, we tie dyed t-shirts in orange, green & yellow. Then, we ate grilled hot dogs, cheetos & fruit.

Meanwhile, the boys spent a large amount of time running around the yard & tearing down/popping balloons. We moved on to cake & ice cream and presents as the party wound down. We skipped the s'mores because we figured that if we gave them any more sugar, their parents would not allow them to return to our home again!! It has been such a long time since we've had a party - everyone had so much fun! We were dog tired at the end of the night and grateful that we are only hosting one party per year!

Harrison - I'm so glad that God brought you into our lives 7 years ago. I had so much fun looking at your baby book with you today. It reminded me of all of the memories I have of you & your life so far. Your sparkly eyes (aka. that feisty twinkle) and great sense of humor have always been my favorite traits. You are so dear to me & a blessing to our family. I cannot wait to see what God has planned for the next 7 years of your life. I love you with all of my heart. - Mommy

A walk down memory lane...

My Soccer Star!

Yesterday was Truman's first soccer game ever! He's our little sports guru and has been waiting to play in a "real" league since he was 2. I think I got more action shots of him in his first game than in each of his brothers' entire first seasons! He LOVES soccer!!

This was Tommie's first soccer game ever as a coach! He agreed to be the assistant coach this season and the head coach could not be at this game, so he was on his own. He did a great job!!

I'm so proud of both Truman & Tommie!

Friday, March 28, 2008


My boss does not have meningitis! Praise God!! Thank you for your prayers...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Strange day...

My boss could probably be described as a work-a-holic, except he also understands the value of his family and taking a break now and again. However, when he physically does not feel well... he continues to push through and work. Yesterday, he worked a full work day - even though he was feeling sick. This morning, I got a phone call from him and he sounded TERRIBLE! He said he thought that he had strep throat and wasn't going to come in to work today. You know it's bad when he misses a whole day of work - especially because there was a special meeting scheduled for today! I received a phone call near lunch from his wife. They had spent the morning at the doctor's office. They suspect that he has meningitis!! YIKES!

Please pray that the test results show NO meningitis. Please also pray that he would be completely healed from whatever currently ails him.

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.
James 5:13-15a

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " Then they remembered his words.
~ Luke 24:1-8
This Easter, our hope is that you "remember his words". Jesus is God, who was born to us as a man, who died on the cross for our sins and who was raised again on the 3rd day. He did not come to condemn us, but to save us.
God is love.
The Payne Family
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Saturday, March 22, 2008

First Night at Home

Tommie & I were up until midnight watching a movie last night, so we took the puppies out to go potty right before we went to bed. They whined for 1-2 minutes and that was it. Then, they woke us up whining to go out at 5:15 a.m. Because it was nearly morning, Tommie & I played with them for about half an hour, then we all went back to bed. The whining lasted a bit longer that time, but no more than 5 minutes. The boys woke up the puppies at 7 a.m. and we've been up for the day since then. They just now got put back into the crate for a nap, because they are worn out already. No whining this time at all. Not too bad for the first night at home!

I'm so far behind in preparing for Easter, because we've been so focused on dogs & puppies this week... I've got to go shopping today for Easter outfits for 3 boys & myself, as well as stuff for the Easter basket. All 4 boys need haircuts today too... I'd better take advantage of puppy nap time to get some stuff done!!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Max & Lucky!

We have had such a fun-filled puppy day today. We picked the puppies up from the breeder this morning and took them to the vet this afternoon. In between, they have varied between playing and napping. They take a lot of naps right now & when they get tired, they fall asleep anywhere! They love to cuddle with us & play fight with each other. The weather was gorgeous today, so we spent quite a bit of time hanging out in our newly fenced in yard. All 5 of us are in love!

Max is the boy & Lucky is the girl. You can tell which one is which, because Lucky has a bright pink collar and Max has pink spots on his nose. Check out our cuties!

Truman holding Max at the breeder's house:

Lucky sniffing out her new yard.

Two puppies are definitely more entertaining than one!

Lucky must be thinking about her mommy...

Max & Lucky sharing their first meal at our home together.

Dog tired after a very full day!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

We're Expecting...


Elfy went home today and tomorrow morning, we pick up our boy/girl twin Beagle puppies!! :o) (Tommie changed his mind as soon as we started playing with the puppies last night.) We had so much fun shopping for puppy goodies today... I'm afraid our debit cards are worn out and ready for bed.

Here's a pic of the boy puppy:

We need help naming the puppies... Please post any suggestions. Remember: it's one boy puppy & one girl puppy (and the names Luke & Lila are already taken... ha, ha).

I feel like an expectant mommy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The true E "Elfy" Hollywood story...

The truth is that Elfy is not a bad dog.

I've been having a little fun keeping score, but overall, she's a pretty good dog. She is a good companion and playmate for the boys - she just gets bored easily and is somewhat co-dependent. She's not satisfied sitting next to you on the couch, she needs to sit on you. She has been perfectly potty trained, until it rained all day. Most of her "problems" could be overcome with some dedicated training or simple solutions (covered dog run).

Overall, she has calmed down considerably since she arrived at our house (although part of that is due to us backing down on the "no couch rule"). It has been a great experience for us to do a trial run at doggie parenting. Tommie is convinced that he does not want a dog now (and possibly ever!) - too much work. I still am convinced that a puppy would be much more fun and we would grow to love it long before it exhibits dog-like bad behavior!

Once Elfy goes home on Thursday, we'll have to hash out the reasons why we do or do not want a dog and try to make a decision that will keep everyone happy. We've had two other friends offer their dogs for "trials"... so maybe we'll just start a dog-sitting business and have temporary pets instead! (*just kidding*) Elfy has taught us many things about the life of dogs and we are grateful for that knowledge... but we are still counting down the days until she goes home!!

Elfy pulls ahead...

It has been raining today. Not just scattered showers, but rain - all day, non-stop. Sometimes it is a light rain & sometimes it is a downpour, but there has been no break from the rain.

Elfy does not like to go potty outside in the rain. So, she has had two accidents in the house today... my personal favorite: she peed on Harrison's favorite stuffed bear! (She scored 2 points for that one!)

Elfy 3
Paynes 1
Bad dog!
Jenny & Steve - I hope you are enjoying your "doggie vacation", because Elfy will be returning home on Thursday! :o)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Doggie Trial Update

Well... we took a primary vote at lunch today. The true election will be held on Thursday. :o) Here were the votes:

1 Keep Elfy
3 Get a puppy instead
1 Don't get a dog at all...

Any guesses who voted which way?

Elfy has some good moments and some not-so-good moments. We've learned that when she has not-so-good moments, she needs to spend a little time in her crate. Score 1 for the Paynes!

Elfy 1
Paynes 1
Good dog!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Score 1 for Elfy

We gated Elfy into the family room while we all ate lunch this afternoon... well, we discovered that Elfy doesn't like to be alone. One of the boys left a Wii nunchuck on the couch and...

Elfy ate it! (okay, she didn't really eat it, but she did chew the cord to the point of destruction!)

Elfy: 1
Paynes: 0

Bad dog!

Random Saturday

Here are random thoughts & photos from the past two weeks. [I know you love when I post multiple topics in one post... but I've been a little short on time!]

This is my favorite puppy that I've seen online so far... which one you ask? The pink one! ... wait a minute... that's not a puppy, it's a piglet with a Dachsund mommy!

TEXAS SNOW (March 6):

This was from the 2nd snowy day in one week!

BAPTISM (March 8):

Our friends Jim & Shar from small group were baptized last Saturday night at church. It was a very exciting evening for their family!

OPEN HOUSE (March 13):

The boys had an open house a their school. It was fun to see all of the things they are learning this year. They get so embarassed when I take photos of them with their teachers!

TRAINING (March 15):

Now that we officially have a dog, we are all in training... Tommie, me, the boys and the dog. We are attempting to train the dog not to jump on us or on the furniture - our first challenge. Training the kids on how to behave around a dog is the 2nd biggest challenge. Here's a picture of Elfy (her eyes look glowing because of the flash):

Friday, March 14, 2008


Today, we begin our "doggie trial"... a good friend of mine is loaning us her dog over spring break to see if we want to adopt her. If we do not adopt her, we plan to get a puppy soon. We love Beagles and my friend's dog is a puggle (pug/beagle mix). Whether we keep the dog or not, we will certainly get some good practice at doggie parenting skills this week.

The fence dudes are outside working on our fence. It is supposed to be finished tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tagged again!

My friend Amanda tagged me with a Book meme: Here's how she explains the rules: "Look up from the computer, look around the room where you're sitting and pick up the closest book. And closest really means closest. No cheating by running upstairs to unearth your pink-highlighted college copy of The Critique of Pure Reason or the Prolegomena. Open the book, turn to page 123, count down to the fifth sentence on that page, and then post the next three sentences."

Well, it was a toss up between my insurance manual (which is technically more of a folder) and this:

The Children's Dinosaur Encyclopedia

After I took the 250 piece jigsaw puzzle off of the cover (which is why it was so close on my desk), I opened it and discovered that there are only 95 pages...

The 2nd closest book (with over 123 pages) is: Trading Paint: Dale Earnhardt vs. Jeff Gordon (I guess I sit too close to the children's books - the mom & dad books are across the room). Page 123 is a photo only - no text. It's a pretty picture and you know, pictures paint a thousand words.

Okay, so I looked over to my right and saw some other books within reach - computer manuals. The closest one is: How to Program C. Page 123 reads:

"Figure 4.15 shows the precedence and associativity of the various C operators introduced to this point. The operators are shown from top to bottom in decreasing order of precendence. 4.11 Confusing Equality (==) and Assignment (=) Operators There is one type of error that C programmers, no matter how experienced, tend to make so frequently that we felt it was worth a separate section."

Oh my... I think I'm asleep after only 3 sentences.

I tag: Michelle, Julie, and Elizabeth.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

How often do you actually laugh out loud?

I was skimming through a blog that makes me laugh when I came across this post that actually had me laughing out loud.

Dog Humor

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Paint & Pinewood

The boys are getting ready for the Adventure Guides Pinewood Derby on Friday. It is their first time competing, so they are experimenting with various colors and styles. Tommie has been great at creating the balance between helping them and letting them do it themselves. I cannot wait to see if they win!!
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What we've been up to...

  • Enjoying the crazy Texas weather - hot one day, raining the next, snowing the next, warm again and now the threat of snow again...
  • Signing a contract to get our fence fixed!!! By Spring Break, our fence should be built!
  • Planning and preparing to adopt a puppy or dog. I've read more books about dogs in the past 2 weeks than in the past 10 years!
  • Moving our turtles to their new home with our friends' kids
  • Attending a volunteer training at church
  • Work, work, work - Tommie & Amy
  • School, school, school - the boys
  • Attending a fundraiser for Amy's friends who participate in the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk
  • Tommie & Franklin going to see the "Alvin & the Chipmunks" movie
  • Catching up on the laundry
  • Having friends over for dinner & playing the Wii
  • Finally recovering from all illnesses and having energy to do everything else - YIPPEE!!!!


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