Sunday, December 30, 2007

What am I doing up?

I am wondering why I am still awake!? I am so tired from getting up three or four times last night and yet here I sit at our new computer! It came yesterday and Ronnie set it up this afternoon. Thank you Santa Clause!!! This thing is sooooooo fast it is crazy.

I wasn't going to post this picture for a little while, but I just can't wait. I (being the proud mother of 4 beautiful and exceptionally intelligent and talented children) think this is a great picture. We went down to the beach on Christmas day and took some pictures together. This is the one of the kids that I absolutely love. I have taken a picture like this over the years of the 4 of them and this is one of the best.

Well I am really tired and I can play on this new computer any time so I am off to sleep. I hope that each of you have a safe New Year's celebration and that 2008 bring many blessings for each of you.

(Missy E......saturday night! Make a plan!)

Ebby Ray

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Day

I have been meaning to write about our Christmas Day, but I have been so exhausted that all I have been able to do was go home and go to bed.
We had a wonderful Christmas Day! We were so blessed with the many gifts we received and with being with my parents. I love watching my children open presents. It is so much fun. This year I got to watch my dad, Walt, open presents and that was just as fun. We usually go around in a circle with each person opening one present until they are all opened. Walt couldn't wait. He was quietly pulling off tape, slipping his finger under the paper and riping it open when it was someone elses turn. It was so cute.

The kids got a lot of things off of their wish list. MP3 players were around, a cell phone, clothes, Cole got a bike, Hunter got a rip stick, both boys got helmets, money was in all of our stockings, Walt got tools galore, Beth got a new coat, Veronica a plane ticket to MN, and English a plane ticket to come home for Christmas plus many more things.

After opening all the presents we were all saying what a wonderful Christmas this was. We were so blessed with our gifts. Then Ronnie says, but wait there's more. He had to go outside to get some gifts that "Santa" had left for us. Now we don't normally do Santa things, but after receiving our gifts we were more than happy to have Santa stop by our house. Cole got a longboard-skateboard, Hunter a double bass drum peddle, English a big Starbucks card, Ronnie got some special order Converse shoes, and Ebby got some Ugg boots. Our whole family got a new computer. I will share with you what Veronica got in just a minute.

Now I was one happy woman. I got two things that I had really wanted. Ugg boots and a sweater drying rack. I didn't have anywhere to dry sweaters that needed to lay flat to dry so my mom got me a new rack that has a fan to dry them more quickly. I used it last night and they were all dry this morning. YES!

Now I will let you all guess what Santa brought Veronica for Christmas. It was perfect for her trip to Rochester (she left yesterday). No telling what we will see when she comes home.

By the end of the day English was getting sick of Veronica's present from Santa!

We had a wonderful day, and yes we were at the beach on Christmas day. It was beautiful out so we all put on sewatshirts and went down to the beach to take our family photo. I will post those later.

Thanks mom for all your hard work making our Christmas day great...dinner was excellent!

Ebby Ray

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve/ Strange Tradition

I want to take this opportunity to say Merry Christmas to everyone who reads this blog. My wish is that you would have peace and good will to all. Including the annoying family members you may spend it with. May any wounds from the past be put aside, overlooked and love and kindness rule the day.

May you reflect on all of the good things the Lord has done for you. May you look at your blessings and FEEL blessed. May you turn your thanks and gratitude toward the Lord and thank him for his love for you.

Strange Tradition

Our family has a strange tradition. When ever we are ALL together with Ebby's parents and there is some kind of special event, i.e., birthdays, we go to a Japanese Steakhouse like Benihana, Kyoto, Miyabi, etc. Two nights ago we went to a Japanese Steakhouse and had a blast. The food was great, the cook was funnier than usual, we had plenty of food for lunch the next day. It was a great time. The night would not have been complete without Walter-Wee Winski telling the waitress that one of the little kids would be paying for it all. That's part of the tradition. Our simple but amazing, heart-warming tradition.

What are some of your "unusual" traditions?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pedal to the Metal (by RR)

Tuesday morning I left my house and finally returned to it last night!! What an adventure!

Of course we went to Charleston for Hunter's surgery. As you know, everything went perfect. I mean completely perfect. I think the worst of Hunter's pain was when they injected him with a local to numb his hand for the IV tubes. He is doing so great. In the bible, there are so many times when God does wonderful things for HIs people. THe people responded by building an altar, or offering praise, or telling others what He had done. I am unable to build an altar at this point, but I am able to give praises to The Almighty King of Heaven and Earth. He has healed our son. He has brought our family closer through this situation. He has sustained and provided for our physical and spiritual needs. Praise God!

After Charleston we spent our time with my cousin Scott and his kids in Myrtle Beach. We had a blast. We were doing something every minute of the day. It is amazing how even though you don't see someone for a very long time, it is so easy to pick things up right where you left off. That is how it was with all of us.

The same with my daughter English...we haven't seen her in a year but we just pick up right where we left off. It is so good to see her too. THings feel "complete" now. If only for a couple of weeks.

I have a total of four days off from work. I am so happy about this. I haven't had some real "days off" in a long time. Today I am just relaxing. I may put some clothes on...I may not. I haven't decided yet.

I am a total SAP around the holidays. I can't help but reflect a little deeper on all of the things in my life that are meaningful to me. I am thankful to God for all of the good things in my life. Actually, in a way, I am also thankful for the things that most people wouldn't consider "good". I am also very thankful for the amazing relationships we have developed in our lives. We are so uplifted and blessed to have an amazing network of family and you.

Merry Christmas! God entered mankind on this day. Let's celebrate!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Home from Charleston

Well we are home from Charleston and Hunter's surgery. Everything went wonderful. The doctor said that it wasn't as bad as he thought that it was going to be and they didn't put a plate in or do a bone graph. Hunter is VERY disappointed that he doesn't have the titanium plate in his head.

We arrived in Charleston Tuesday night really late. We got two hotel rooms since our cousin, Scott, and his four kids were meeting us there. They didn't arrive until around 5:00 a.m. so we didn't get to see them until after the surgery. We left for the hospital at 5:30 a.m., checked in, Hunter put to sleep (which was really funny), waited around during the surgery, went to Hunter in recovery, and then left the hospital at 11:00 a.m. They discharged him that quick. Amazing!

They did send the tumor to pathology for testing, but the doctor said that he is quite sure that it was plain and simply a growth and nothing more. It hadn't gone through the bone like he thought so instead of all that hardware in his head he just has a divit. You can see where his skin goes in. Yuck!

After being released from the hospital we went back to the hotel and relaxed the rest of the day. On Thursday we headed back to North Myrtle Beach with Scott and family in tow. Scott rented a 3 bedroom 3 bath ocean front condo for....get this...$108.00 per night. Can you believe how cheap it is? Since it was big enough for us all our family spent the night over there last night and we will again tonight. Ronnie and Scott are going golfing tomorrow morning so I am going to try and figure out something to do with the kids. It has gotten rainy and chilly out so I don't know what we will find to do.

Besides Hunter's successful surgery another great thing happened today. English came home!!!!! She will be here until January 3rd. I haven't seen her in so long! We will be sure to take pictures and post them in a couple of days.

This is a great Christmas. Hunter is fine, English is home, and we get to spend Christmas with my parents. If you haven't heard this lately...God is so good!

If I don't get to post again for a few day know that I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

Love to you all!
Ebby Ray

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When it rains it pours!

Well our family can't seem to catch a break here lately (yes, I am whinning).

Yesterday I got a call from Ronnie during my lunch break. Here is how the conversation went:

ER: "Hello"
RR: "Hey"
ER: "Hello!"
RR: "Guess what?"
ER: "What?" (Right now I am thinking he is going to say, "I love you." This is usually how our little conversations go.)
RR: "Ummmm, I am in the emergency room."
ER: "You're what!"
RR: "I am in the emergency room."
ER: "What happened?"
RR: "I cut my arm."
ER: "You did what?!?!"
RR: "I cut my arm with a box cutter."
ER: "You did what?!?!?!"
RR: "I was trying to cut a zip cord and cut my arm."
ER: "Do I need to come to the hospital?"
RR: "No. I drove myself here. I will be fine. I have never bled like I did when I cut it. Blood gushing out all over the place."
ER: "Are you ok?"
RR: "Yes I will be fine."
ER: (realizing that he was ok) "You ding-dong!"
RR: "I know, but you should have seen all the blood gushing out. I have never bled like that before!"

My husband received 3 stitches for the puncture wound he received from stabbing himself with a box cutter. One of the nurses actually asked him while he was on the phone with me if he did it on purpose. I thought that was weird. Anyway he came home with the "take the stitches out yourelf" kit and he will remove them from his arm next week. He was still talking about how bad the bleeding was when we went to bed last night.

Then this morning the poor man woke up to a flat tire on his work van. When it rains it pours.

We are off to Charleston tonight for Hunter's surgery. I won't find out what time his surgery is scheduled for until between 2-4 this afternoon. We are going to stay in a hotel over night so that we all get a good night's sleep and don't have to get up at 2:30 in the morning to make the 2 1/2 hour drive.

Ronnie's cousin, Scott Ray, and his children are going to meet us in Charleston for a couple of days while Hunter is in the hospital. I am hoping that they come back to the beach for the weekend at least.

English will get here Friday morning. I haven't seen her since last Christmas and can't wait for her to get here. It will be great to have all my children under the same roof again. Veronica leaves for Minnesota on the 26th so at least I will have them all together for 5 days.

Well I will be off the computer for a couple of days, but will post the results of Hunter's surgery as soon as I can. Thank you for all the prayers!


Ebby Ray

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I found this picture on facebook the other day and it cracked me up! It totally shows how me and my family think...or act like we think. I love it. I kind of think it should be the other way though. It should say: We're not cool...we're just weirder than you. Ha Ha!

This one also describes my family. Sorry if it offends anyone, but we definetly acted stupid in public and you guys still talk to us so I guess we're doing something right. People give us some pretty weird looks in public. When I say weird, I mean WEIRD! This was a pretty random post, but i hope it gave you a good laugh.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Little Drummer Boy

Last night mom, Walt, Cole, and I went to the middle school band concert. I wasn't looking forward to sitting through the 6th, 7th and 8th grade band performances plus the jazz band. I have been to serveral of these over the years for English and Hunter already so I figured that it was pretty much going to be the same thing again.
Let me start with saying that the 6th grade band was really impressive for a beginning band. They did very well. So did the 7th and 8th grades bands. I wasn't bored at all. The band director did a great job with these kids.
Then it was the Jazz Band's turn. The part that I had been waiting for. The band director introduced them and said which songs they were going to do. Blah, Blah, blah and Drum Time with a solo by Hunter Ray, and Iron Man with a solo by Will Jackson. (Will is one of Hunter's closest friend here at the beach. They get together and play music at Will's house.)
I know that my children are talented. I think that all parents think their children are talented in some way or another just for the simple reason that they are their children. I knew that Hunter could play the drums. He is just like his dad. It comes very natural to him. He will play anything...straws, pencils, chop sticks, his fingers, his feet...they all become drum sticks.
When Drum Time started I was wondering when and where the solo would come in. When it did happen I was not ready for what I heard. My son is GOOD! It brought tears to my eyes. People were cheering and clapping for him. I even stood up at the end. I was amazed at what I heard. He really is GOOD! Even while the bass peddle was falling apart he didn't miss a beat. Kept right on going. Ronnie has told me how talented he is,but I had no idea. As a proud mom I have to say one more time...he is GOOD! Wow.
After Hunter's song came Will's. Let me tell you that I was floored once again. This boy can play. His fingers were flying across the electric guitar. Will's mom was sitting in front of me and we both said that we wished that they could have played together, but then neither one would have been showcased. Will's song brought the house down and was a great finale to the whole program. They were the stars!
Ronnie wasn't able to come to the concert and was very upset about this. His boss made him stay late since he wasn't going to be there today. He is heading to Rochester for the weekend.
Veronica didn't go because she went shopping with her English teacher and all the English students for their Angel Tree children. They raised $2,100, which was $100 for each child. They had a good time shopping.
Well that is all for my proud mom post. Sorry if I made you sick, but I am gushing!
Have a great day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I learned from when Ronnie was in the Army that all branches of the military use initials for just about everything. PDS...Permanent Duty Station.

English called yeterday with news that she received her PDS during class that morning. She actually got her first choice...again. She got her first choice of languages and now she is getting her first choice of where she will be stationed. Now keep in mind that she is not done with her training and her PDS does not take effect until January, 2009. Yes I typed that correctly. 2009!

She will graduate from DLI in February and then go back to Goodfellow in Texas and then on to Nebraska for 6-8 months. Nebraska is where we hoped that she would be stationed. It would be closer to Minnesota and she would be able to come visit for long weekends. But nooooooooo! Her first choice was Arizona. There is a small group of Airmen stationed there.

This is good in a way. Good for her that she will still be close to family in California. Grandma Jan has a house in Laughlin, AZ so English will be able to go visit there sometime. Bad for us that she will still be so far away.

English knows what type of plane she will be in, but if she told us she would have to kill us.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Catching Up...

Well I haven't posted in a while and I have been thinking about several things to write about.

First, I am so proud of my wife for her diligence and hard work in taking off 27 pounds so far. As if she wasn't hot enough already, she keeps getting hotter. Also to see the sense of accomplishment in her life has been a pleasure for me to witness. Great work sweetie!

Second, we have a new addition to our family. You seen previews and heard us talk a little bit about it. But I officially introduce you to.............The Man Beard!!!

Week 3-ish

Week 4-ish

Saturday 12/8 before the Christmas Party, with "The Hot Wife"

This is my first crack EVER at a beard. I kind of dig it! The kids dig it too. The Hot Wife?...not so much. Tell me what YOU think.

One more AWESOME thing! DON'T STOP READING YET! One of the guys I know from the House of Blues called me the other day and asked if I could be a stage hand on an upcoming job with him for a nationally known act. He told me he could not tell me who it was until I signed on. Of course I am going to say yes. So...I said yes. You will never guess who the artist is!! DAVID--FREAKIN'--COPPERFIELD!! I GET TO BE A STAGE HAND FOR DAVID COPPERFIELD! I am a little excited. I have to sign a cofidentiallity agreement and everything. It is going to be cool! I will keep you updated.

Have an awesome week!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Party and Baggy Britches

Tonight Ronnie went to what will probably be our one and only before Christmas Party. We will be going to the Christ Community Church Staff Christmas party in January, but this will be our only one before December 25. Usually we don't even go to any Christmas parties. The one we went to tonight was Ronnie's work staff party. It was fun. Beautiful house...nice people...great food...I ate too much...some drank too much. Then we rode around and looked at Christmas lights trying to see where we wanted to drive around with the kids tomorrow night. We found some doozies!
Here is a picture of Ronnie and I as we were leaving for the party.

Here is another picture of me before we left for the party. I have only told a few people what I have been doing, but here is a picture of it.

I have lost 27 pounds...before I ate to much tonight. :) I started on October 6th. My next goal is to lose another 6 pounds by Christmas. Shouldn't be too hard. Through Thanksgiving I didn't gain any weight. As long as no one gives me any more peanut butter cookies, like a member of the church I work for did on Thursday, I should be able to meet that goal.

One other thing before I head off to finish reading my book. Hunter is having surgery on December 19th to remove the tumor from the left side of his head. He will be at MUSC for one night if all things go according to plan. He could get a titanium plate on his skull from where the tumor was or they will graft another peice of skull bone and use screws to attach it to the place where was. Hunter said it would be fun if he could stick magnets to the side of his head. I said that I would gule a magnet on to his pencil so he could stick it on there and not lose it. At least he was laughing about it. Ronnie is going to clip his hair short before surgery so that when they shave part of his head it won't be so noticeable. And by the way....we know that magnets won't stick to titanium. We were just being silly.

Hope you all have a great weekend.
Ebby Ray

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bless Your Heart

Bless Your Heart....this is not such a positive saying in the south. If you hear something like,"You got your hair cut, bless your heart," or "she is having an affair, bless her heart," you are not being complemented or hoping for blessings for you.

I explained this to some of my northern friends and since then they would end an e-mail or converstaion with "bless your heart" and it would crack us all up. When in a staff meeting one time a coworker actually used this in a sentence and three or four of us about fell over trying not to laugh out loud.

Since returning to the south I hear this statement all the time. My mom knows that it is not a complement and she will say it to me every once in a while just to get me laughing. The bad thing is that I hear it being said all the time here at the church I work for. I can't just start laughing when someone says this. I have actually bitten my tongue a couple of times to keep from laughing out loud.

If they would just learn to say "oofta." Actually I heard this the other was good to hear someone use a word at the end of the sentence taht truly expresses what you are trying to say instead of trying to cover up negative feelings with "bless your heart."

Southern sayings crack me up......oofta!

Ebby Ray

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Weekend and random photos

We have had a great weekend. We went out to eat Friday for Cole's birthday at Applebee's. Saturday we went over to rake and use the blower on leaves at my mom's house. Hunter and Veronica mowed her lawn. We then went down to Myrtle Beach for Cole to do some birthday shopping. We then met my mom on Main Street in North Myrtle Beach for the annual Christmas parade. Sunday was church and then in the afternoon the NMB Christmas Cantata. Through out the weekend were many games of Settlers of Catan. Veronica won the most with me having the second most wins....Ronnie didn't win any. Tonight Ronnie has a show at HOB and the kids and I are just chilling at home.
I have been meaning to post some random pictures for a while. Here they are...

Cole, Grandma Jan, Hunter and Veronica with our neighbor Sidney (front row)

Walt-wee, Beth-mom, Hunter and Cole at Cole's birthday dinnerRonnie and Veronica at Cole's birthday dinner
Ebby and Cole at Cole's birthday dinner
Hunter, Cole and Uncle Frank Veronica and our little cousin, Teddy

Teddy with Hunter, who she called "Stinky Boy"

Hunter and Cole

Dork 1 and Dork 2

Ebby and Veronica

Veronica...why are there so many pictures with Veronica in them?

Cole, Ebby and Ronnie at the NMB Christmas Parade.
Ronnie is showing off his "man beard."
Veronica, Hunter and Cole with Cousin Jenna in the middle. Jenna is actually little Teddy's mom. Jenna spent Thanksgiving with us while she was on break from the Army for the weekend.
Sarah C. who is due in February, and who I am trying to convince
should name her little boy Edward (My middle name is Edwards)

Sarah C., Jennifer J. and Jessica G. who are all Rochester-onians.

The Howe family who spoilled Ronnie with great food his last visit to Rochester. Ronnie's playmates his last visit to Rochester...Megan, Anna, and Alex. Becky R., Don K. and Elesio G. All from Rochester. Becky and Don lead the worship team and Elesio is a musician on the team.

Here is is Chloe S. She was born the day after we loved to North Myrtle Beach.
I haven't gotten to meet her yet.
Brandon and Anna G. on an airplane headed to Arizona.
I saved the absolute best picture for last. This is an ultra sound of John and Wendy's "May Baby Boy." I love this picture for so many different reasons. First it is just a perfectly sweet little foot. Second, this picture will be John and Wendi's first child. They are having this child via adoption. You can read their whole story at the blog on the right hand side of our blog. "The Kitsteiners" ...We moved to Rochester with the Kitsteiner's and have seen them struggle with infertility. Wendi is so open about their life and has a blog that encourages those that have the same struggles as well as those that don't. I have learned a great deal from these two people. If you visit their blog you will see that they call their little boy "May baby"...they won't tell what name they picked out for their new son. :(

Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Coley-oley!! He is 9 today.

We are going out to eat tonight with my parents for his birthday and his choice of places was Applebee's. I tried to convince him that we should go to a Japanese steak house (Miyabi's) and have sushi, but he didn't agree so Applebee's it is.

We love you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Little bit o' info

Ronnie asked me to post some information on Hunter.

  • The Radiologist reading Hunter's MRI said that he is 95% certain that it is not cancerous.
  • We had to go back for an additional MRI view this morning so that the Radiologist could make sure it isn't cancerous. If it looks like he thinks it will he will then be 99% sure it isn't cancerous. Why not 100% is my question.
  • Hunter WILL have to have surgery. No matter if it is cancerous or not he will have to have the lump taken out. It is softening the skull bone.
  • We are waiting for the Pediatrician to give us a referral to a Neurosurgeon.
  • We are also waiting for the Radiologists report on the additional MRI view from this morning.
  • Hunter is worried about what his hair will look like after surgery. He wants me to make sure that he has a few days before going back to school so his hair will have time to grow out a little on that spot.

Here is a little recap of the last two weeks with our family:

  • My dad goes into the hospital with renal failure.
  • Three days later he is released and is being refered to MUSC for treatment.
  • Friday, November 16, Hunter has a CT scan on his head
  • Wednesday, November 21 Hunter has his appointment with the Pediatrician
  • Friday, November 23, Ronnie's car breaks down
  • Monday, November 26, Hunter has the MRI
  • Tuesday, November 27, Hunter has an additional MRI view done
  • Tuesday, November 27, MY FAVORTIE SHOE BROKE ON MY WAY INTO WORK!!!!!!!!!

How is that for a series of events. My stinking shoe broke! That was pretty much the cherry on top of our two weeks. I have been walking around all day with a flopping shoe. And my favorite ones! Grrrrrrrrrrr

Ronnie and I are still worried about our little Hunter. It won't be over until they tell me with 100% certainty that after they take this thing out it we will be done.

Thank you for all the prayers.

Ebby Ray

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Four Days After Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We spend Thursday afternoon over at my parents house. We ate dinner, which I so graciously let my mother cook....thanks mom! We have a tradition of going around the table and saying one thing that we are grateful for. This included my parents this year, which was fun. My dad said he was thankful for life. Made me stop and think of all the things I take for granted. He was simply thankful to be alive after all he has been through. There were a couple of funny ones, and we all laughed, but his stuck with me.

Friday morning Veronica and I got up at 5:30 to go shopping. We left at 6:00 and drove to Myrtle Beach. Our first stop was Toys R Us. We got the two things that I wanted, looked at the line, and promptly put them back on the shelf and walked out of the store. We then headed to Target. As I stood in line with my purchases Veronica kept wandering around. Every time she walked off she came back with a couple of things that she thought we "needed." I finally told her to stand still and not move. The good thing is that we were able to get 3 or 4 Christmas Presents out of the way for not very much money.

Next we were off to Best Buy. I found one of Veronica's Christmas presents there. Yes she has seen it and yes she is giving me a hard time because I am making her wait until Christmas to get it. Yes, I am a mean mom, but geeze it was a good deal that I couldn't pass up. Most of her Christmas is a trip to Minnesota.

After Best Buy we went to Michaels to just look around. Then we headed back to Toy R Us just to see if the lines ahd gone down. I needed to get Cole's birthday present while they were on sale. I got those, but the stocking stuffers were gone....of course!

Friday night Ronnie had to work and he took his cousin, Jenna, to the show with him. She got to meet the artist and seemed like she had a good time. The rest of the weekend was pretty lazy. Sitting around doing much of nothing. My mom and I drove Jenna back to Wilmington to meet the bus on Saturday afternoon. After that..nothing but laziness.

Ronnie didn't have to work last night so we all sat down and watched "Hairspray."

It was a good weekend spent with family. Not only am I thankful for my family...I thankful for all my friends!!

Love to you all!
Ebby Ray

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend by girl with 2 little brothers

So this weekend my cousin Jenna came down to visit us. If any of you out there have younger children, siblings, or annoying neighbors between the ages of 6 and 12 you will understand how this was a slight dilema. Kids between these ages are obsessive to put it nicely. Hunter and Cole would not leave her alone! She handled it well though.
For those of you who don't know Hunter and Cole, they are loud, kind of obnoxious, and they talk...ALOT. This of course is coming from my point of view, so i'm sure those of you who do know them would not agree.
They both know which buttons to press for me and they both like to press them. So much so that this weekend i went to spin the night at my grandma's house. I also went over there because i gave jenna my bed to sleep in, so i was sleeping on the couch. Cole wakes up around 7:00 in the morning, comes down stairs and turns on the tv no matter who happens to be sleeping on the couch. You can see the problem, especially since me and my mom went shopping at 6:00 a.m. the previous morning. I went to Bethmom's and slept like a baby until noon. It was GLORIOUS!!!! so that was my weekend. A word to the wise NEVER and i mean NEVER! go shopping at Toys r Us on Black Friday. You won't make it out alive.

Friday, November 23, 2007

You Guys are Horrible!

To all the people who doubt my driving abilities:

Just because my father is Ron Ray does not mean I can't drive! Yes, he's going to be the one teaching me, but i do not have ADD like he does. I can pay attention if i want to. (Missy Eagan don't say/type a word). You should not fear for your lives while I am on the road. I will be a safe driver, you can count on it! If I'm not a safe driver, then you probably should be scared because soon I'm coming to the roads near you!

Veronica Mckenzie Ray

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


To all persons driving on roads in South Carolina!!
Please use extreme caution when driving in the vicinity of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The positive side of this story is that her mother will not be teaching her how to drive!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Awesome Weekend in MN

I had a great trip to Rochester this past weekend. As usual it was filled with fun, friends, food, and worshiping our Lord through music. The only thing missing was my awesome woman. Unfortunately, I have to wait for the January trip so share all of the awesome-ness with my lady.

Here is the summary:

Friday Night- Stayed at Dan Howe's house. Played poker with the boys. Lost everything ($5). Gained approx. 2 lbs. from all of the awesome food that Dan's wife made.

Saturday Morning- As has become the tradition, went to Perkin's with Don & Becky. We also had a special guest: Pastor Steve Eckert. I ate approx. 9-10 of the Tremendous Twelve items; up from the seven I ate last time.

Saturday Afternoon/Evening- Practiced with my buddies in the band for the evening choir service. Sung/played from the bottom of our toes, straight to the Lord's ears. It was, indeed, Heaven practice. What a light, fun, meaniningful singing party the Lord put together this weekend.

Saturday Night- Went over to the Ganz house for delicious food and belly laughs. Once I get started entertaining the kids (Anna, Megan, and Alex) it is hard for me to stop. We were cracking each other up all night long, until we couldn't take anymore. The food was mexican in nature and all together delicious.

Sunday Morning- See Saturday Afternoon/Evening

Sunday Afternoon- Ate a final meal with the Howe Family. Marin made caramel raspberry french toast, deluxe hash browns and scrambled eggs. The Howe's really spoiled me in the food department all weekend. It was amazing.

Then I left and came home to my lovely family. I sure miss them when I am gone but I love the reunions.

It was my first official wewekend as a CCC employee. It had kind of a different feel. A familiar-comfortable-lets-get-some-work-done feel. I know the work hasn't really started. But it felt good to be on board.

I have cute pictures of the weekend that I will post in the next couple of days. I am currently not at my home computer.

Have a happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for so many things. But if you are reading this, I am thankful for you.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hunter's Head

Yesterday Hunter had a CT scan. They found a little something something on the left side (the picture makes it look like it is on the right side, but it is actually on his left). He will be having an MRI in the next couple of weeks and then they will decide if he will have to have it biopsied or removed. The doctor said that he worries that it is growing into or making the skull bone "soft". He said that it had definately grown into the soft tissue already. I don't understand any of this, but I sure do hope they do.

See the little circle looking thing on the right side of the scan. That is what they are worried about. I know that some of you medical students could look at this and tell me what is happening, but I am still not sure that I would understand.

Hunter is very excited about having an MRI. He is not excited about the contrasting part, but he wants to see what the "tube thing" is all about. He was excited about the CT scan, but it just didn't last long enough for him. Strange kid!

Will keep you updated.

Ebby Ray

Friday, November 16, 2007

Headed to MN!!

I am headed to ROchester this weekend for the super special choir wekend. I sure look forward to the choir. Regular worship is always meaningful and worshipful, but you add 30-40 powerful voices singing from their toes to the Lord and you have an incredibly moving experience. I always say it is like Heaven practice.

Imagine...standing face to face with the Lord...our Savior...our Redeemer...our Creator...singing or praise with perfect united voices, from our pure spirit, without any fleshly intentions or corruptions. I can't wait for that day!

But for now, I am going to Rochester!

THe weather here has been a lesser preview of what I will be facing in Roch. Last night at HOB I was out back at the artist entrance all night and it was cold. The low was 32. So I will be ready.

TOnight will be poker night at Dan Howe's place. Since I stink at poker, it will be a fun, short evening. And of course, tomorrow morning will be the Tremendous Twelve at Perkins for breakfast. That's really why I go once a month...they take me out for breakfast.

Then Saturday evening I will get to hang out with the Jensen's and Ganz's. I am told there will be cheesecake. Can't wait!!

Hope you all have a nice weekend. I will take the camera this time and put some pictures on here next week.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Update on my dad

My dad will be released today from the hospital. His kidneys are functioning again, his potassium levels are back to normal, but his blood sugar level is still high. The doctor said last night that they will release him late today so that they can get as much fluids in him as possible.

The diagnosis was the pituitary glad...he has Addison's. He has had it for several years but this time with the help of low fluids his body wasn't functioning properly. His kidneys stopped working and he wasn't getting enough oxygen in his lungs.

He is now on two inhalers to help the lungs and they are sending him to an Endocrinologist at the Medical University of SC for treatment. With the use of inhalers with steroids his blood sugar levels are still going to be tough to manage, but they are going to try and figure that out at MUSC, too.

Thank you for all the prayers!!!!!!!!!!!

Ebby Ray

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cissy The Boston Terrier

I wrote about my step-dad and his health earlier so I thought that I would add this cute picture of their dog, Cissy. She looks like she is working and really annoyed that someone is interupting her.


I am not like Ronnie and some of his reasons for moving to North Myrtle Beach, SC. I didn't move here for the beach, or days like today, which is 70 degrees and sunny. I didn't move here for the salt air or to still be wearing sandals in November. I didn't move here to still be able to get a tan in November, either...even though I could.

Here is where Ronnie and I agree on why we moved here. My parents! Cole and Hunter call my step-dad Walter...Veronica, English and I call him Walt-wee...Ronnie calls him Walter-wee-winski. We moved here to be of some help to my mom with my step-dad and be of good company to them both. I hope we have been of good company so far, but now we get to help.

My dad was admitted to the hospital yesterday with congestive heart failure. After some tests they found that his kindeys have shut down, his potassium level was 6.2 (8 is lethal...I think), and his blood sugar level was 480 (150 or below is normal). He is in pretty bad shape. He will be in the hospital for at least a few days. Ronnie is my hero in that he was able to give away a kidney a few years ago to a friend of ours. The doctor talked to my mom last night and they talked about a possible kidney transplant. Of course I have a perfectly good kidney that Walt-wee can have. No question about it!! I would be sad if I wasn't able to give him mine.

Now I can't help or do anything while he is in the hospital, but I can help my mom with her household things. I stayed with the dogs last night and then fell asleep while my mom was talking to me. At least I was there in case she needed to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. I will be staying there again tonight. Ronnie will be in Rochester, MN this weekend so if Walt is still in the hospital at that time we may stay at her house for a night or two...if she wants the company.

This is exactly why I moved here. I was able to go to the hosptial on my lunch break yesterday. Ronnie was able to go to the hospital yesterday. We couldn't have done that from Rocehster. Although we will only be here for a year I am so glad that we are here right now!! This is the perfect time for our family to be here! Absolutely perfect time!!!!

Have a good day!
Ebby Ray

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Lastest Beaking Ray News

Overall things are cruising along nicely. Here's the summary:
Ron's New Job

I am now the warehouse manager for an interior design firm. I do deliveries, keep the showroom nice, help the designers when they install all of the furniture and fixtures. There are five ladies that run the show and I basically just run errands and keep the warehouse stuff in orde. It is actually pretty fun. The ladies are all far. They keep telling me that I am their "Anthony" from the 80's TV show, Designing Women. YEAY!

Other Big News for the Rays

After much thought and prayer about what the future holds for the Ray family, we have decided that we are moving BACK to Rochester, Minnesota. As many of you know, we left a really good situation in MN. Several people in our lives even said, "It doesn't feel like you guys are done with your work here." They were right.

The past couple of times I went back to MN to play drums we have been discussing and negotiating the possibility of coming back and working on staff at CCC. In October they officially offered me the position and I officially accepted the position. THe full-time position will be split between two ministries the worship ministry, and the Salt and Light ministry. For the worship ministry I will be doing music on the weekends, of course, helping set up the weekly worship services, connecting and communicating with other worship team members, and other logistical things. People do not realize how much prep work goes into weekend worship services. Let alone a growing thriving ministry with over 100 volunteer participants.

For the Salt & Light ministry I will help lead the worship and do some speaking. I have already been thinking of some things to talk about.

We are incredibly excited about this. We were a little concerned about moving back after only a year. But it still does not feel like it was a wasted trip. What a joy and a pleasure to spend time with family on a regular basis. We have dinners almost weekly with EB's parents. We see them a lot more than that each week. We help them with things they help us with things.

With the holidays coming up, I am so excited about spending them with family. Not only with EB's parents, but my sister and her family are coming for Thanksgiving, my cousin Jenna too. English is coming home for Christmas. And the beach...I mean come on!! There are so many reasons to love the beach: family time, free therapy, cheap dates with Ebby, sun, salt water.

Well that's about all I have for now. Keep this whole thing in your prayers. We just want things to go smoothly.

Lots o' love!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Balmy 36 Degrees

We woke up this morning to a balmy 36 degrees outside. There was even frost on the car. The kids were all taking about if they should wear coats or not and if we had any cheap-thin-WalMart-gloves around the house. They all decided on wearing sweat shirts and hats. By this afternoon it will warm up again I am sure. I think that fall is really here and the leaves should start changing soon.

Hunter is now #6 in percussion. He started out #13 and is working his way up. I don't know if anyone remembers me writing about this before, but the #1 and #2 spots are occupied by girls. I think that this is awsome! Hunter is a little bummed about his recent challenges. They won't play against him. They just give up their spot. He told me last night that this isn't what challenges are all about. That they should at least try. How are any of them (including himself) going to get better?

All three of the kids brought home their report cards this week. They all made one B and the rest A's. The problem with the B's is the reason behind the B's. I don't mind a B if it is in a hard class and they are trying and doing thier best work. All three of them received a B because of not turning in an assignment. Grrrrrrr! We will have to work on that. :)

Ronnie started his new job yesterday. He is no longer working at the pizza place. It had gotten so slow and this new job just came along. Perfect timing. I will let him tell you about it when he has time to write. He will still be working at the House of Blues. He really enjoys that job and gets to see some really talented people playing.

Please be praying for my friends John and Sarah C. They are expecting their first baby in February. They have had several ultrasounds and the baby's right ventricle is twice the normal size it should be. There is a long medical explanation. Thankfully they live in Rochester and are being seen at the Mayo Medical Center. Second, there appears (again) to only be three fingers on the left hand. While there is a slim chance that the other two are just "hiding", that is not as likely now that only three have been seen two times in a row. A third ultrasound with Mayo has been scheduled for November 26th. John and Sarah would appreciate and covet your prayers.

I hope you all have a great day!

Ebby Ray

Monday, November 5, 2007

New Movie

I have been e-mailed something similar to the following from several different friends. I thought that it is definately blog worthy. My question is....How can the children kill God if God doesn't exist Mr. atheist? Explain that one away!! Please don't let your children see this movie.

Ebby Ray

You may already know about this, but I just learned about a kids ' movie coming out in December starring Nicole Kidman. It's called The Golden Compass, and while it will be a watered down version of the book, it is based on a series of children's books about killing God. (It is the self-described atheist author's response to C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia trilogy.) From what I understand, the hope is to get a lot of kids to see the movie - which won't seem too bad - and then get the parents to buy the books for their kids for Christmas. I checked this out on the Snopes website ( ; it is accurate. This quote from the Snopes site sums it all up:"The series' author, Philip Pullman, is an avowed atheist who has averred that "I don't profess any religion; I don't think it's possible that there is a God; I have the greatest difficulty in understanding what is meant by the words 'spiritual' or 'spirituality.'" Critics of Pullman's books point to the strong anti-religion and anti-God themes they incorporate, and although literary works are subject to a variety of interpretations, Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he said in a 2003 interview with The Sydney Morning Herald that "My books are about killing God." (Conservative British columnist Peter Hitchens labeled Pullman "The Most Dangerous Author in Britain" and described him as the writer "the atheists would have been praying for, if atheists prayed.")"

Sunday, November 4, 2007

My Dad's Job by Veronica

As i'm sure a lot of you know my dad (Ronald Eugene Ray II) works at the House of Blues. Not only does he benifit from this but so do I (Veronica Mckenzie Ray). the only reason i bring this up is becuse to night i'm going to a concert at HOB. The show is Motion City Soundtrack, MAE, Anberlin, and something else, i can't remember. In the next two weeks i'm going to two other shows, which is pretty exciting. I just realized that this only the second blog i've written. the first one was about whether or not you guys think my dad is metro or not. I voted yes. Hey guess what?! I am now 5'10"! i'm now officially taller/as tall as both my parents. CRAZY! well...we're about to leave so i'll sign off now! Salut! Adios! Au Revoir! (i'm taking french this year)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Why did I get a present?

I woke up this morning and went down stairs to make me some cereal. I walk around the corner from the stairs to the kitchen and there were some roses in a vase on the kitchen counter. I walk closer to see what was going on and there was a card on top of a new book. The card had Ebby on the front of it, therefore I opened it.

At this point I was really wondering why Ronnie got me a gift. Was I so grumpy yesterday and he thought I needed a pick-me-up? Had he done something wrong that I wasn't aware of? What in the heck was I missing here?

I open this beautiful card and started reading it. OH MY GOSH!!!! Yesterday (friday) was our wedding anniversary!! I completely forgot! Ronnie forgot, too, until 11:00 last night. He was at House of Blues and realized that he hadn't said anything to me about our anniversary. He thought that I just hadn't said anything to him waiting to see if he said anything. Not even close. I totally forgot.

Thankfully I don't get upset about things like this. My birthday, mother's day, Valentine's Day, Christmas...I don't really care it he or the kids get me anything. A few years ago Ronnie forgot that it was my birthday. We had celebrated a few days early so when the actual day rolled around he didn't realize it was my birthday. No big deal! Like I said thankfully things like that don't bother me.

Well Happy 16th Wedding Anniversary to us......a day late!

Ebby Ray

Friday, November 2, 2007

Finally Caught Up on Sleep

Well as you know last weekend I worked some really odd and long hours. I took me quite a few days to recover from the whole thing. I finally feel like myself again.

Last night at House of Blues was Elliott Yamin from American Idol. He did a lot of fun R&B and Soul tunes. Listen the boy can SING! I was impressed. Heck! I was impressed when he was on A.I. There also just seems to be so much joy coming out of him. It's fun to watch. His band was incredible too. It has been inspirational to see all the great drummers every night. It has made me want to grow as a drummer and learn some new stuff.

Tonight's show is going to be a bunch of stoners. I am not particularly looking forward to baby-sitting tonight's crowd. But hey, this job is a lot more fun than almost any job I could be out doing.

Speaking of jobs...I got a new one. I have to leave for HOB right now so I will write more about it later.

Much Love.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

At first I just posted the picture below and didn't write anything. Then I started thinking about it and realized that someone might think that I was "mooning" them. That isn't it at all. My friend Jennifer sent this to me yesterday and I thought it was great so I put it on the blog. Obviously I wasn't thinking how it might appear to others.

I really want to put this in my yard next year, but I won't. The neighbors might think that I am really rude, which I am not. I just really like to laugh...and this made me laugh. Ebby Ray

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall is Almost Here!

Fall is in the air and the temps are going down. It will be in the 70's here during the day and 50's at night. We still wear shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops, but the people of the beach are starting to wear jeans and light jackets. It is actually quite funny.

Yesterday my mom and I went to the mall. When I came out of the house my hair was still wet. My mom told me that I was going to get pneumonia. I said, "what?", and she repeated herself and added that it was cold outside. I had to giggle. She had on a little jacket and jeans and regular shoes. I had on jeans, a short sleeved shirt and flip-flops. I guess after living in Minnesota for 4 years this weather doesn't feel so cold as it does to others.

When we did live in Minnesota, Veronica would take a shower in the morning and go catch the bus with wet hair...when it was around zero outside. I would get on her about this, but when I told her my story about my mom yesterday she reminded me that she would get little ice crystals in her hair on the way to school.

One other thing that use to happen when it was below zero would be Cole screaming, "Aaaaaaaaaaaa, my nose hairs have frozen!" That would crack me up. The one thing that bothered me would be when I had my neck gator on and up around my nose, and my eyelashes would get ice crystals on them.

It is getting cooler, but at least last weekend we were still able to get in the ocean, and the kids are still running around in shorts and playing outside. I think that we will be wearing sweatshirts Christmas Day.

Have a great day!
Ebby Ray

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Corny I know!!

This is one of my favorite spots on earth. These trees could be anywhere and I would love it. I use to drive by this spot everyday on the way to work. The first time I drove by it my first thought was, "That and Ronnie and I."

You can't tell in the picture, but the tree on the left has a tire swing hanging from one of the branches. This made me think of Ronnie. He is the one that the kids go to when they want to play. The get silly and laugh all the time.

The tree on the right is me. When the kids need comfort and to fix an injury they come to me. So the long hanging branches are me and a place of comfort.

This is corney I know, but I love this spot.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Very Quiet Here

It is quiet at our house. It is just Cole and I at home and it is raining out side. I think that my screened in porch is inviting me out to eat my breakfast and watch the rain.

There really isn't much going on here this weekend. I don't have any "beefs" right now either. I know...amazing.

As everyone knows there have been the horrible fires in California. Some of those fires were in the county where Ronnie's mom and uncle live. I know that they weren't in danger of having the fires take their homes, but it is still scary. We received an email from Ronnie's other uncle, Mike, saying that he was ok and that if the fires came near his home they would head to the beach. He lives down by San Diego. The bad thing now is the ash in the air. That travels so far and effects so many people that weren't even near the fires. I hope that some rain comes and cleans the air.

We had a great time while Ronnie's other uncle and aunt, Frank and Rhonda, were in town. We hung out at the beach and pool on Sunday. Ronnie let the boys stay home from school on Monday and they did some running around in the morning, and then Uncle Frank took the boys boogy boarding in the afternoon. That night we went to dinner at the pizza place where Ronnie works. They have great pizza. Monday evening they got a phone call that their flight was cancelled out of Myrtle Beach. They would fly out of Charleston. Get to Charleston and they couldn't return their car there. On to Agusta, GA....flight cancelled. They would have to spend the night in Atlanta and fly out of there. Can you believe all of that. Two cancelled flights and four airports in two days. Bummer end to an otherwise good trip.

Well I am going to go enjoy the rain. I hope you all have a great weekend.

Ebby Ray

Friday, October 26, 2007

Time for a Quickie

Hey, quick note. I will be indisposed for the next few days as my work schedule is about to get crazy.

There is a theater in town called The Alabama Theater. They do an ongoing variety show and occasionally have big name concerts there such as Wayne Newton and Kenny Chesney. They are changing from their normal show to the christmas show this weekend. I was asked to come help with the change over. For some reason they chosen to do this in the wee hours of the morning. So I will be working the shows at HOB then scooting over to Alabama Theater until the next morning and sleeping during the days.

I told Ebby to just pretend I was out of town for the next three days.

Anyway, I hope you all have a nice fall weekend. It is going to get down into the 60's here over the next couple of days. I know....BRRRRRRR! I will update more when things settle. In the meantime, look for Ebby's fabulous updates and "beefs".

Quote for today:
"The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."
-Allan K. Chalmers

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cole and I Found Nemo!!

As Ebby mentioned in a previous blog, Cole and I went to Ripley's Aquarium. It was a really fun day. We also went inside the Hard Rock Cafe just to look around, but ended up having a couple of milk shakes.

Don't judge me for this, okay? But I told Cole not to tell mom about the shakes, that I would tell her later. I did this because she sent me with the grocery money and we bought the shakes with some of the grocery money. I didn't want her to think I was being irresponsible with our money. But...sometimes, you just gotta buy your son a shake and make the most of our awesome day together.

So, we go grocery shopping and come home. Ebby and Veronica came out to help us bring in the groceries and before we even get to the front door Cole blurts out, "We had shakes at Hard Rock and we spent twelve dollars of the grocery money!!" All I could do at that point was laugh and come clean to Ebby.

THis is the story of my life. The Lord sure doesn't let me get far before he pulls my covers. I'm actually glad of this fact.

Here are the pictures of our day. I forgot our camera, but my cell phone did a pretty good job. I was surprised.

See?! We did find Nemo.

Jelly fish with flourescent black light behind tank

Cole and two puffer fish. This is an actual photo. It was not staged or altered.

Cool looking sawfish


"Fish are friends, NOT FOOD!!" Awesome picture, huh!?

The "Dad Dates" have been one of the many joys of having kids. These are some of the times that I will remember long after the kids have left the house.