Our Crazy Life

Raising three kids just one day at a time

Callaway Gardens Beach June 14, 2011

Filed under: random chatter — Jamie Payne @ 8:11 am

We thought it would be fun to take Eric and Riley to the Callaway Gardens beach on Sunday since we purchased a season pass this year.  It was a beautiful day and the beach wasn’t very crowded.  We managed to get a couple of chair/umbrella sets to rent for the day and we settled in for a few hours of fun.  Between swimming in the lake and making sand creations with all of the toys we brought along, the kids had a great time!  We were so busy that I forgot to take my camera out until Jason took the boys over to the inflatable island to play on.  Miss Ava Marie was looking too cute so I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures.

My beautiful sun princess…

That’s Jason and Ayden up at the top right before Jason threw him into the water.  It was pretty funny to watch:)

Eric and Riley playing in the water.

I think Riley was trying to keep her daddy in the water with her but Eric needed a break.

The great debate…to go on the inflatable island or not.  Riley won. 

It was another fantastic day spent with  the Arndt family!  We’re going to miss them when they head back to WI on Wednesday:(


Raingutter Regatta – 2011 May 24, 2011

Filed under: random chatter — Jamie Payne @ 8:32 am

After the Autism Speaks Walk this past Sunday, we headed over to Shamrock Park in Tyrone for the Pack 79 Raingutter Regatta.  It was unbelievably hot but the kids had a blast as us parents watched them race their boats. 

Go Ayden!

Go Ayden!!

And he wins!!

Ayden and his trusty sailboat did pretty well together.

All while Ava played at the playground….

…and Jameson tried to squirt water out of his mouth.

Thanks for another fun event Pack 79!!!  We’ll see you again in the fall…this time as Wolf Cubs:)


The Graduate May 23, 2011

Filed under: random chatter — Jamie Payne @ 10:56 am

This boy graduated from Pre-K on Saturday.

When did he decide to grow up on me? 

Ms Brooke and Ms Kellie are amazing teachers and got Jameson through a very challenging year.  I will forever be grateful to them for the patience and love they gave to him. 

Ayden and Ava were very supportive of their brother on his big day.

Jason and I are so very proud of Jameson and his wonderful transformation into a big boy this school year.

Congratulations Jameson on your special day!  You’re an amazing little boy with such a special personality.  We love you to the moon and back!!!


What’s for dinner??? May 2, 2011

Filed under: random chatter — Jamie Payne @ 9:52 am

Despite the fact that Jason and I both have demanding work schedules and three kids with hectic schedules of their own, I have consistently tried to make sure that we all sit down to a home cooked family meal at least five nights a week.  This has started to get harder and harder as I attempt to come up with things to make that not only will everyone enjoy but are quick enough for the nights we have karate and other activities going on.  Every weekend I find myself coming up with next week’s menu, doing the grocery shopping and then promising that I will stick to the plan.  And it’s a struggle…every…single…week. 

Recently I read about e-mealz which was created by two busy moms who wanted to help other moms spend more time with their families while still preparing healthy meals and without blowing their budget.  For $5 a month you download weekly meal plans catered to your lifestyle…glueten free, portion control, low carb, low fat, vegetarian, couples only.  You can also select which grocery store you use the most (Wal-Mart for us) and they create your menus around what’s on sale that week with isle specific grocery lists.  So for us, I chose the “Wal-Mart regular family meal plan” which is 7 meals for 4-6 people. E-mealz makes it  “doable” for those hectic nights we have karate or errands to run.  I no longer feel like McDonald’s or Wendy’s is our only choice for dinner because in 30 minutes or less I can get a hot meal on the table for all of us to enjoy!  Their blog also has great articles and additional recipes to try out.

Here is just an example of what our last meal plan contained.

Meal #1:   Blackened Salmon on Field Greens w/Raspberry Vinaigrette served with White Potatoes
Meal #2:   Cashew Chicken Salad served with Crescent Rolls and Sliced Cantaloupe
Meal #3:   Mushroom Burgers served with Potato Wedges and Corn on the Grill
Meal #4:   Swiss Chicken served with Steamed Rice and Sweet Peas
Meal #5:   Shrimp Creole over Rice served with Green Beans
Meal #6:   Mexican Meat Loaf served with Saffron Rice and Cucumber Salad
Meal #7:   Crusty Baked Italian Sandwiches served with Celery & Dip and Chips


***When there’s something in particular that I know my kids are going to refuse to eat, I substitute one of our family favorites.

If you decided to give e-mealz a try, let me know!  I’d love to know how you like it and which recipes you enjoy the most!!


Making a Comeback! April 15, 2011

Filed under: random chatter — Jamie Payne @ 8:49 am

Yup.  It’s been almost a year since I last posted on Our Crazy Life.  Why?  Because life got even crazier.  No, we haven’t added yet another child to our family but our kids are getting older.  They’re getting more busy…more active…their schedules are killing me!  And since I last posted Jason has become a Master Plumber  which means he’s currently heading up two huge commercial jobs and has become a total stress ball.  And then I decided I wasn’t being challenged enough at work and realized that I love payroll and HR which then got me promoted to Payroll & Human Resources Manager.  Let’s also not forget that Ayden decided he wanted to join Cub Scouts this past fall and somehow I found myself volunteering to be his den leader.  Probably because I had NO idea how much work was really going to go into being a den leader, but I love the time we get to spend together so I really can’t complain.  Oh, and then there’s karate.  Three days a week karate.  The boys love it but I normally fly solo with all three kids and by the time we’re back in the car driving home, all I can think about is a yummy, cold glass of wine.

Okay, so now you know that life has gotten crazier since last July and I simply stopped blogging because I couldn’t carve out the hour or so that it seems to take me to write up a decent post.  Instead I became a blog stalker.  I read other people’s blogs.  A lot of the blogs I like to read are written by moms.  Busy moms…stay at home moms…moms who work outside of the home.  Moms with lots of kids and crazy schedules and moms who share their not-so-proud mommy moments which only help me feel more okay about my failures and successes at being a mom.  I can relate to these moms. 

And then I realized that maybe there are stories I’ve told that another mommy out there could relate to.  I mean, let’s face it.  I’m far from the perfect mother.  I’ve yelled at my kids when they really didn’t deserve it.  I’ve skipped bath time because at that particular moment I knew that I didn’t have the energy in me to even turn on the shower.  And I’ve definitely served up a kick ass PB&J for dinner because I forgot to plan something else the night before.  But while I have plenty of bad mommy moments I have some pretty awesome ones too.  Like yesterday when Ayden’s afterschool teacher told me how proud she is of Ayden’s behavior lately and how respectful he’s been.  Or the other night when I came around the corner to see my boys snuggled up on the couch together.  Ayden had his arm around Jameson and Jameson was all tucked into Ayden.  And I love it when their faces light up each day when I pick them up at afterschool.  My night-time snuggle sessions with Ava sooth me probably just as much as they do her.  When we sit down  at the table for dinner (that I actually cooked) and talk about our day, I’m simply amazed that I’ve been blessed with such a wonderful family. 

So to any moms out there who sometimes feel like they simply can’t live up to the expectations that are out there for us all to be perfect, don’t worry.  I think there are a lot more of us just struggling to make it through the day.  We don’t need to be perfect.  We just need to love our families and give them the best we can. 

Ayden and Jameson in their karate uniforms


Ayden, Jameson and Ava...all three of my babies:)


Bad Blogger July 16, 2010

Filed under: random chatter — Jamie Payne @ 9:02 am

Why can’t I find the time anymore to write on here?  I used to have all of this free time while at work to come up with fun ideas to make this a happy place to visit.  I used to edit photos and hunt for scrapping inspiration.  Now we can just add bad blogger to the list of things I’m bad at….

1. Bad phone friend
2. Bad card sender
3. Bad blogger

I think the list is actually longer than 3 items but I’m in a hurry today.

Even while I type this post I find myself preparing a cash receipts transmittal form, updating our COBRA notice/election forms and preparing a label to send a 401k rollover check to our 401k provider for an employee.  And while I’m at home, I’m wiggling Ayden’s loose teeth while sitting in the bathroom convincing Ava that potty is best in the toilet and yelling at Jameson for jumping on my bed and hiding my vacuum cleaner attachments.  I want to blog.  Really I do.  So much happens to us every day…not exactly news worthy stuff….but funny stuff and sad stuff and frustrating stuff that I would love to share. 

I’m making it one of my weekend missions to clean of the desk at home (aka unbury it from all of the clutter that accumulates there during the week) so that I can sit down at night and edit a few pictures or post a new recipe that we’ve tried out or maybe share the funny story about Ava chasing her brothers through the house with their new Avatar swords.   

Because I miss blogging.  I miss sharing pictures and funny stories. 

I’ll be back. 

I promise.


Life is good July 12, 2010

Filed under: family,random chatter — Jamie Payne @ 1:13 pm

We’re good.  Life is good.  Just busy…

Last week and this week Ayden has swim lessons Monday – Thursday from 4:45 to 5:30.  I have to leave work a half hour early to pick him up and get him to the Dive Shop on time.  Jason has been trying to pick up the other two for me which I absolutely adore him for.

Jameson had his swim evaluation on Friday and he passed into Pre Level 2.  Ayden was slightly miffed that his brother gets to skip a level.  I was pretty proud of Jameson:)

I got a lot done at home on Saturday.  Laundry, cleaning, kicking the boys’ butts at Super Mario Brothers for Wii.  I’m trying to find the right work/fun balance.  Mario helps me out.

We had a babysitter Saturday night and my parents took us to Fogo de Chao for Jason’s birthday.  We overdosed on protein and then went home to collapse in bed. 

On Sunday we had a modified scrap club.  Scrapping from 10am – 12:45pm.  Lunch at Five Guys and then the 2:10pm showing of Eclipse.  I love Edward and Belle together, but I was drooling all over myself every time they showed Jacob without his shirt.  Does he ever wear a shirt anymore?  Sigh…

Sort of got my scrapping mojo back.  It’s been missing all year.  I started working on the About Me book that we may or may not teach.  I love the way the cover turned out and can’t wait to get started on the inside. 

Simply enjoying summer this year.  Lots of time by the pool, tasty food, children’s laughter, warm breezes and golf cart rides.  Oh, and just a few margaritas.