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. :(