Thursday, January 18, 2018

18 pictures for January of 2018

Calvin and Jane's Family
Calvin:  Learning how to rifle a barrel.
(He takes this seriously, can you tell?)

Jane:  My sister Lynn is from Idaho.  Surprisingly, we ran into each other in the Minneapolis
Airport.  She was on her way to Kentucky and Calvin and I were on our way to Mississippi.

Ray and Cali's Family
Ray:  On my way to teach the emergency preparedness merit badge.

Cali:  a mother has many talents.  Carrying her young is one of them.

Levin:  It's finally gone.  Atlas:  Sympathy pains.

Inman:  Watching Saturday morning cartoons on the top of the heap.

Abe and Grace's Family
Abe and Hazel:  Hazel helping me and Henry build
Legos in the best way possible.

Henry:  Following the "constructions" to build my Legos.

Ty and Michelle's Family
Ty:  Rocking Calvin to sleep.

Michelle:  I love listening to Afton read to me.

Afton:  Tomorrow is 100 day at school and I'm supposed to look
100 years old.  These glasses help me look it.

Eliza:  Squirrel game calling my name 24-7.

Kathryn:  I never met a sticker I didn't like.

Calvin:  I love Grandma Kathy.

Joe and Ande's Family
Joe:  Reading time with Zeph and Ezra.

Ande:  Winnie helping me cook dinner.

Zeph and Ezra

The King's Plan

I wrote The King's Plan as a book for our grandchildren and asked a former student and friend, Angela Hunt, to illustrate it.

to our fellow travelers

Long, long ago, in a kingdom far, far away
lived a king with his queen.

The king was wise, strong, fair, and gentle.
The queen was wise, generous, happy, and kind.
They had a big beautiful castle with lots of windows,
and an even bigger family with lots of children.

Their kingdom was filled with a forest of tall trees, sturdy rocks,
winding rivers, and dainty, colorful flowers.

The king and queen had many, many children.

More than they loved their castle, forest and flowers,
the king and queen loved their children.

The king taught the children important matters.
He laughed and played with them as he took them on chariot rides.

The queen helped them learn new talents and to love each other.
She read them stories of kings and queens before.

One day the king called all of the royal children
together for an important meeting.

He said he had a plan. This plan would give
his children the choice to be like him and
live with him forever.

The children were happy. They loved the king
and wanted to be just like him.

The king explained a king or queen
must be valiant and brave.
The plan would take the children to the
farthest corner of the kingdom
where they would travel through the
forest, rivers, and rocks to find
their way back to him in the castle.

He warned it would be difficult,
but it would be a plan of happiness
and they could learn many good lessons on the path.
They could learn to listen and trust him.
They could learn to care for each other
and love like he loves. He promised
if they followed the path, their journey
would help prepare them to be a king or queen.

The children cheered.

The king asked if someone would go through the forest and
mark a path to help the children find their way back to him.

Two princes quickly offered to go.

One said, "I will go.  I will do it."

The other said, "I will go, but I have a better plan . . ."

". . . there is no need for a path.
I'll drive everyone home in a chariot.
No one will get lost.  No one will get
scratched by the bushes or trip over fallen trees.
No one will be cold or hungry.
No one will make any choices.
Everyone will be safe in the chariot that I drive."

The prince turned from the king and winked at the children,
then faced the king again and said,
"Since I'll be driving the chariot
and this is my idea, I should get something a little extra,
perhaps your throne,
for delivering everyone safely to you."

His plan sounded very selfish.

The children thought about the king's plan
and the two princes' offers.

Most of the children wanted to walk
 the path the first prince would mark.
They trusted he would help
them follow it back to the castle.
They didn't want to be squished in a chariot.
They wanted to wade in the river,
smell the trees and flowers,
and watch the animals play,
even if it meant they might get bumps and bruises.

A few of the children, however, did not want to walk.
They wanted a ride.
They thought the path would be too hard,
too long, too hot, and too boring.

The king chose the first prince to mark his path.

After the children had thought long and hard,
the king stood and said it was time
for them to choose between the two plans.
Those who wished to follow his plan
and the prince who would mark the path
were told to stand.

Lots and lots of the children stood.
Some stretched very tall to show the king
they would even defend his plan.

When the king saw most of his children stand, he declared,
"So let it be written, so let it be done.  The first prince
will mark the path and lead the way."

This made the other prince who offered to drive the chariot,
and the children who wanted a ride, angry.

They stomped their feet, shook their fists, cried loud,
and threw a tantrum.

The king made them leave the castle forever.
He would not tolerate a royal fit.
They stomped out of the castle and straight into the forest.

With the castle back in order,
the king sent the prince to mark the path.

He nailed signs on the trees with directions to help the
children find their way, and then he walked it himself.

The king watched from the high window in the castle
and saw that it was a very good path.

Before the king led his children to the corner of the kingdom
to being their journey, he gave each on a messenger pigeon.
He told them to send messages to him anytime
and as often as they wished.
He promised he would read and answer each message.

He also gave his children a map of the kingdom and a lantern.
He said the lantern would burn brightly and light the way
if they stayed in the middle of the path.
He warned it would go dim or dark if they left the path.

He said he loved them and that he and the queen would be
waiting for them to return.

The selfish prince, and the king's children who followed him,
hid in the forest behind the rocks and trees.
When they saw the prince and children on the path,
they hissed and threw pebbles at them.
They whispered, "Com over here.  The path is boring.
Come play with us.  We're having fun."

Some of the royal children followed the whispers.
They put their lamps down on the path
with their pigeons and maps on top.

A few were never heard from again.

Others discovered they'd been tricked.  They didn't feel good
when they left the path.
They got bumps and bruises and cut by rocks.
They shivered and shook and ran back to the path.
They picked up their lamps and maps and wrote messages
to the king of what they had done and that they were sorry.
The pigeons carried the messages to the king
while the children stayed in the middle of the path
the rest of the way.

Some of the children didn't even listen to the hisses and boos.
They were too busy studying maps,
sending and receiving messages,
and helping others tread and follow the signs.

Soon, many of the children arrived at the castle.
The king and queen were very glad to see each one.

They had prepared a feast for the tired and happy children.

There are still children on the path today.
The hisses and boos from the forest and rocks are
even louder than before.

The selfish prince and the children who followed him
are coaxing the children on the path to stay
behind with them.

They know that soon the path will be empty
and they will be very, very lonely.

Everyone but them will be back at the castle
with the king and queen.

However, the king is in charge of his kingdom.
He knows his children.
He and his queen stand anxiously watching and waiting.
He calmly and clearly calls to their children to come home.

The End.

Along with the book we gave our grandchildren dress-up clothes (capes, swords, hair wreaths, lanterns) to act out the book.  Calvin and I put a picture of ourselves in the back of the book and wrote a paragraph to our grandchildren:

Grandpa:  I hope each of you will follow the good Prince's path back to the King and Queen.  Listen to your mom and dad, they are trying to help you stay on the path.  this is like Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness.  The sooner and the more we follow the signs and listen to the messenger pigeons the happier we will be, and we can return home to be with the King and Queen and the Prince who marked the path.  I love all of you.

Grandma:  There is a picture of each one of you grandchildren somewhere in this book, because the king's plan is just like Heavenly Father's and we are all here on earth following the path together.   I know Heavenly Father loves us and answers our prayers and wants us to be kind and take care of each other.  Jesus is like the prince and marked a good path that is the only way to our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.  Heavenly Father's plan makes Grandpa and me very happy and it can make you happy, too.  I love each one of you.

Feel free to use this book for your personal/not-for-profit use.  I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Calvin Gregory Payne

He's here!  Calvin Gregory Payne was born January 4, 2018 at 2:03 in Mississippi and weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz..

He is named after his grandpa and great-grandpa -- a name full of meaning and love.

Michelle is doing great.  Ty's doing great, and his 3 sisters are thrilled.

What a blessing he is to his sweet family.  What a blessing his family is to a sweet boy.

Thank you for getting him here Ty and Michelle.  We're just so glad we have him.  Lucky us.

Calvin Gregory Payne

Michelle and Calvin

Ty and Calvin

Afton and Calvin

Michelle, Eliza, and Calvin

Kathryn and Calvin

Sunday, December 17, 2017

17 December '17 Pictures

Jane:  I invited my new gym friend Yoko to come to church and then home
with us for dinner afterwards. Even when I warned her that our church was
3 hours long she excitedly said she wanted to come. I wish you could have
seen her humble reaction at every turn of the day. When she walked into
our home she put her hands together over her heart and said it was a dream
come true to be in an American home. When she sat down to eat she held
the roll up to her nose, closed her eyes, and inhaled deeply. Over and over
she thanked us for including her. She brought a hostess gift and then
sent a sweet thank you text saying it was a wonderful day for her.
Seeing Yoko’s sweet reactions reminded me how blessed
I am to have the fellowship of my church family, and the
opportunity to include others in that unique and wonderful blessing.

Ty: The girls kept getting out of bed. One of the times we heard them coming downstairs,
Michelle said, “Santa doesn’t like it when kids get out of bed!”
Eliza retorted, “He doesn’t even KNOW! He’s not here!”
This picture features my good-looking ankle.

Michelle: Ty and I got to play the roles of Mary and Joseph for the
Primary's "Walk through Bethlehem" at church today.

Afton: I'm getting in the Star Wars spirit.

Eliza: “The parking lot is sparkly and lots of colors!”

:  Afton is teaching me all of her
accessorizing and posing techniques.

Friday, November 17, 2017

17 November 2017

Jane:  I made Thanksgiving Dinner place setting favors tonight.

Ray:  Celebrated a day I look forward to every year.

Cali: Scripture study with the family. 

Inman:  Learning to have family prayers like the rest of them.

Abe:  Reading bedtime stories 

Grace:  Got my hair done today after waiting way too long.

Henry:  Enjoying family date night pizza.

Hazel- got to spend some good one on one time with my mama.

Ty:  Getting excited for Thanksgiving in South Carolina!

Michelle: A candid from Eliza.
 I believe I was reading a book after being woken up from my nap.

Afton:  This is my favorite page from the Thankful Book I've been
making at school.  This page says, "Today I am thankful for my parents." 
(Please note those are poofy sleeves on Michelle ;0)

Eliza: Every day I anxiously await Afton's return from school.
This afternoon she helped us have a picnic in the backyard.

Kathryn:  Another candid from Eliza. 
I enjoy sitting on my mom's lap for some morning snuggles and girl talk.