Friday, December 25, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oops, she's done it again!

Yes, these are some more photos by Veronica.


This is NOT Hunter.






Can you see the microphone?

This IS Hunter



18 wheels+rain=cool pic

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Can I wonder?

I was lying in bed this morning
wondering if I could wonder
I kept trying to wonder
But I couldn't
Nothing came to mind to wonder about
I do mean absolutely nothing came to mind
I continued to lie there
Hoping that something would come to mind
I could wonder about the state of the world
But that didn't really interest me
I could wonder why my husband snores
That really didn't interest me
I could wonder if there was really going to be a blizzard tonight
Don't need to wonder about that
I will still have to go to work tomorrow
Then I thought that contemplating my navel might work
Nah - that was just silly
Then it hit me
I was wondering about something
I was wondering about wondering
That wasn't productive
So I went and got ready for work

Saturday, December 5, 2009

English made it to Kuwait!

I received the following email from English the other day. Sounds like she had a fun "send off" up in New Hamshire.
Hey mom!!! just wanted to let you know that i made it safely at about 0430 local this morning. we ended up with a short layover in portsmouth, new hampshire, where the retirees and civilians greeted us with lots of gifts, foods, and a short ceremony. they also took a million pictures of us, gave us some tokens to remember them by, and sang us songs. you would have loved it!!! i'll get you the website for the pictures as soon as i can find it in my mess of luggage. kuwait definitely isn't as bad as it could be. our dorms are hardened, i only have 2 other room mates that i have to share a room and bathroom with, but i like them both so it should work out fine. we're all on the same work schedule, so at least we won't be waking each other up hopefully. oh, we also flew through iceland, which was a very shiny airport, and germany, which was kind of cool. um....the af side of the kuwait base is really small without much to do but they still have the necessities. i have a briefing at 4 with the commander, then i get to sleep a little before going to work at midnight til noon tomorrow. i'm not exactly sure how calling you all is going to work out, but i should get a better idea later on tonight. and i will definitely call soon!!
have to catch some sleep before this meeting, i love you and miss you terribly. talk to yOU SOON!
love,
english

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thankful Thanksgiving

I know it is a cliche, but I am truly thankful for so many things in my life. Most of the things that I am thankful for are people. Isn't that funny. When I was younger I was probably more thankful for the things I had...like my horses or a car I drove or the top of the line tennis racket I had. Actually I don't even know if I was thankful for those things or if I just expected them. Now I can honestly say that I don't really care about those things and that the things most important to me are people.

Ronnie, Veronica, Hunter and Cole are in Kentucky for Thanksgiving. They are visiting Ronnie's sister and her family. I am very Thankful that it worked out that they could go down there for a couple of days. It is always a lot of laughter when our families are together. Funny stories are told. Games are played. Our kids are all friends as well as cousins.

I am also thankful that I am here at home. Smalls (the dog) and I are just hanging out. Well I am hanging out and he is running circles around the couch and coffee table. Weird dog!

I would love to be in Kentucky with everyone, but I am glad that I get to spend some time alone reflecting. I will get to that in a minute. What I want to share some things about people that I am really thankful for.

Ronnie - of course I am thankful for him. Geesh that is a given. Ronnie is a hard worker, good father, my bestest of best friends, yada, yada, yada...here is something else. I am so proud of the man that he has become...he allows the Lord to use his gifts and talents in such a mighty way. I have the previledge of seeing those things week after week playing worship. Sometimes I am in awe. I can only sit there and watch him. Especially when he is leading worship with the guitar and signing. I can't sing and I can't close my eyes. I can only watch him. Thank you Lord!

Veronica - This little girl isn't so little anymore. She is taller than me. (Insert eye roll) Veronica and I went to a movie the other night with some friends and we ended up talking about personalities. What was Veronica's personality? I see such a leader in her. The good kind of leader...one that can lead, but one that hears other peoples thoughts and concerns. When she really enjoys something, she is also a hard worker. The most awsome thing is that some of the young girls at church look up to her, and I think that she is a good example for them. Thank you Lord!

Hunter - This little boy isn't so little anymore either. He is also taller than me (Insert double eye roll - what is it with these kids and being tall?) Hunter is so much like his dad. Silly, fun, and also has great musical talents. Right now he is using those talents for the Lord and I hope he continues on that path. When I see Hunter play the drums or lead worhsip for the youth group by singing and playing the guitar I want to just jump up and yell, "That boy right there! See him!! Look people! That boy right there is MY son!" I am also thankful for his tender heart. Thank you Lord!

Cole - What a goofy kid. He really makes me laugh. He has a natural ability with numbers. Yes, it can drive me crazy when we are in the check out line and he tells the cashier how much change they owe me before the register tells them, but I am very glad that it comes so natural for him. Maybe he will become the financial person for a church one day. :) He is also a leader in his class at school. If there is an answer to be given you can bet that he will be raising his hand to answer it. His teacher has said that Cole is always there to help other kids with their work or project. Thank you Lord!

Now I have saved English for last. Usually I go in age order, but as I said before I am glad that I am home today spending some time alone. Here is why:

As I wrote in my last post, English is deploying on Saturday for Kuwait. She leaves California at 2:00 am and heads for Norfolk, VA for a couple of days and then on to Kuwait. I am glad that I am home alone and can sit and think about her without interuption. I want to reflect on my daughter without having to drive somewhere, make food for someone, go to work, or any other daily activity I usually have to do. Very very selfish of me (i know), but it is what I want to do. So there!

English - my daughter is another leader in our family. As a matter of fact she just received an award yesterday for her leadership and work ethics. She was chosen out of how ever many Airmen on her base in CA to be Airmen of the Week. I don't know who all was at the award ceremony, but they were higher ups. Commanders (or something like that), Sargents, Supervisors, etc. They all came to show their respect for the type of military person she is. They also said some great things about the group she works with. How awsome...they actually were telling them good job and thank you. English is a good soldier! English is also a good friend. She is a protector of sorts. She looks after her friends and makes sure that they are taken care of. I am very proud of the woman that she has become. Thank you Lord!

I am also thankful for my mom, who is going to drive to Virginia Saturday to see English before she leaves the states. I am thankful for Ronnie's mom, Jan, and his Uncle John...they spent the afternoon with English last Saturday. I really don't know if those three people know what it means to me that English was with family before she left. It may sound corney, but my heart is over flowing with love for these three people. They are making this time for me a little easier. I was so sad that there wasn't going to be a "send-off" for English before she left. I couldn't get to her, but two Grandmas and an Uncle came to the rescue. This may seem like something so little to some people, but to me...I owe them a lot for what they have done. Thank you Lord!!

I am also thankful for my two besties, Jennifer and Heidi. They won't let me be alone on Thanksgiving Day. ;) They love me and I love them! Thank you Lord!

I am thankful for my friend, Wendi, who lives in Florida. I love you Wendicles, Wendi Kit-no-heiny-steiney, Wendinator..and I miss you. You are doing a great job and I think that together we can say...Thank you Lord!

I am thankful for the people that walk through my life on a daily basis. It could just be a simple "hi", working together all day, a meaningful conversation, serving dinner together at the Dorthy Day House, or any other connection. I am thankful for each and every one of you. You have some sort of impact on my life each and every day. Thank you Lord!

I am also thankful that the Lord sent His one and only son to die for us on the cross. So that whoever believes in Him won't perish...we will have ETERNAL LIFE. Thank you Lord!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Little Girl is Leaving

Last night I was talking to my oldest daughter, English. We were chating about the new tatoo she was getting when she said, "....because I leave in two weeks..."

I think most everyone knows that English is in the Air Force, and is currently stationed at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California. On November 28th she will be deploying to Kuwait for 6 months. When she said, "in two weeks" it about knocked the wind out of me. I didn't realize it was so close to time for her to leave.

The following are my own personal feeling and do not reflect the feelings of anyone else in this house...:)

I love the military and truly believe in it. I think most military personnel will spend some time depolyed to some foreign country. When English signed a contract with the military our country was at war, therefore, it is her duty to go over there and support our country. I am very thankful for those that go to one of the Arab countries to serve. I am sure that she could have tried to go to some other base and not go to the "war zone", but I am very proud of her for accepting this assignment without whining.

Now, I don't have a problem with her going over to Kuwait. That is her job, and the Air Force will take care of her. Even though I don't have a problem with that I do have a problem with the fact that I can't go there if something happens. I can't get to my little girl is something happens to her.

I think this is one of those things that I don't let God take care of. It is truly a fear of mine. That if someone in my family gets hurt or something is wrong I won't be able to get to them. Thankfully, all of our family lives within an ariplane ride from Minnesota. I can get to California, I can get to South Carolina, and I can get to Kentucky. I can't go to Kuwait. They wouldn't let me on base. I don't even know if they will let me in the country. How would I get to her if something happens? Please keep me in your prayers...that I will give it over to the Lord and not hold on to this.

Anyway, while English and I were talking I told her that since I couldn't go with her I was going to send little notes so that she could carry them around with her. The she could hold them up for someone to read when the occassion calls for it. They would say things like...

"Sir, please point that gun away from my daughter."
"Sir, please throw that morter the other direction away from my daughter."
"Sir, please do not look at my daughter that way."
"Sir, if you touch my daughter I will break your neck."
"Sir, my mom says I do not have to do 20 push-ups."

We got a good laugh.

Well, I know that English will be taken care of. I know that she is getting to go to a country that she may never have gotten to visit otherwise. I know she is going to make new friends. I know that if something happens to her the military will bring her home to me so that I can help take care of her, too. I hope she finds some way to have a good time while she is gone. I hope this is a positive experience for her, and that she comes away with some great stories.

I know that from the last time I was able to visit her until the time she comes back it will be right at a year. I know that my arms are going to ache, but I am very proud of her. She is a good soldier, and an amazing daughter.


If you would like to send a package or letters to English while she is over seas, please let me know and I will get you her APO address.

Friday, October 23, 2009

3B Designs

There are some new girls in town...3B Designs

They are making some amazing floral arrangements. If you would like to order one, please leave me a message, which arrangement you are interested in, and I will get back in touch with you. If you don't see something that you want let me know what you are looking for and I am sure that they can make it.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Worship with the Ray kids

This past Sunday Hunter and Veronica led worship for the youth group. Yes, I cried when I saw the video. Made me so proud that my kids are using their talents. Ronnie took about 30 minutes of worship and made this neat little montage. I can't believe that Hunter has taught himself how to play the guitar, and I am so glad that Veronica is finally singing in front of people.

video

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

what IS up with those ray's

*This is mostly a post for our family. Boredom may happen if you aren't a family member.

I don't really think that our family has been busy lately, but it sure feels like it. Summer was never here in Rochester, fall flew by in a flash and then today I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground. Where has this year gone already?
Hunter is growing so fast!! Here is a picture taken last night of Hunter and I. He is not stretching to be this much taller than me. I really do have to look up at his now. I really don't like it.
Hunter told me this morning that he made 3rd chair in the percussion section of the school band. He is really coming a long way with his music. Drums, acoustic and electric guitar and now the bass guitar. There is also a little song writing in the mix.
English is doing well. Her best friend from high school was just out visiting with her. I stole these pictures from English's facebook. Doesn't she look great! I think that they went to Napa Valley and then into San Francisco while Alyssa was there.
This is the only picture I could get of Veronica. :) She is doing well, too. Really enjoying being on the yearbook staff at school. She resigned from Caribou and is now working in the cafe at our church. So that we can afford it I have already started planning her graduation party. I can't believe that she will be graduating in about 7 months. Doesn't seem possible that I will have two children out of school next summer.
And as you can see I don't have a picture for Cole. I haven't taken any new ones lately. Cole is doing good. Right now he is excited about the possibility of getting together with a school friend this weekend. He hasn't done this for about 3 years now. At his parent teacher conferences Cole and Ronnie made some goals for this year. One is to make 3 friends at school before Christmas. Another goal I have for him is to not break another pair of glasses. He has done so well taking care of his glasses, but has broken two pair in the past week. I have to make a way and time for him to go get some new ones. Grrrrr
Ronnie and I are doing well. Nothing new to report. Well I guess I could say that Ronnie had a great time at his high school reunion a couple of weekends ago.
I am a little sad that winter has come a couple of weeks early. I still had some painting I wanted to get done. I guess it will have to wait until spring.
I will close with this picture. It is my co-worker, Ashley, and I. We just got pediatric masks in our department to hand out to sick children if they come in with their moms. Of course we had to try them out. They are so much better than the big blue ones we give to the adults. They have Disney caracters on them.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Before and After: TV stand and side table

Don't get all excited. It isn't really that big of a deal, but I finally took pictures of two of the projects that we were working on. I really like how they both turned out.

The first on is our new tv stand. We took an old console tv and re-vamped it. I agree with my friend Jennifer...the curtain on our version of the tv stand may need a spring rod at the bottom to hold it down.
Before:
After:
During the summer I picked up a not so cute marble top table at a yard sale for $5.00. (Saturday I was at a store where this same before table was being sold for $48.00...before it was re-vamped) Unfortunately I don't have a before picture, but I wasn't very pretty. There was this lattice work in the doors before we took it out and covered it with the same fabric as in the TV stand. The top is a tan "swirl" patern.


I think that both projects turned out pretty good. The tv stand took some trial and error, but we got it just right in the end. What a transformation on both peices. I can't wait to get to some other projects waiting for me in the garage. Hopefully I will be able to get to them before it gets to cold to paint.