Friday, December 28, 2007

Post Christmas Post

Our Christmas Morning Fire
Got a little bit of those after Christmas blues....but at the same time, it's exciting to know that a new year is right around the corner. Really looking forward for things to be GREAT in '08! The Ray's had a blessed year in 07, even though it started with tragedy at the shocking death of my brother this past January. Then the year just flew by - life proceeded and it took me a while to catch up, but before I knew it, Brittany was back home from Baltimore and enrolled in school here and landed a great job at the New Orleans Mission. The summer brought us the engagement of Ashley and Jose and we are looking forward to the planning of the wedding this year. My dad turned 70 last August and we were able to celebrate with him. Terry will be turning 50 this coming year and my parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. So as blessed as we were this past year, I am looking forward to some incredible milestones this coming year.
We had a great Christmas! Just our little family, relaxing in our jammies, opening gifts, enjoying dinner together and playing games....including the Wii we got from Jose.

Oh....Brittany and I got a Flip Video Camera - so fun and easy. I haven't uploaded anything on my computer yet, but it is suppose to be super easy. So hopefully, I will have many more video blogs this year...with or without Brittany. I also got a KitchenAid mixer - so exciting - maybe some "cooking video blogs" in the future...with my new mixer, flip camera and these great ceramic measuring cups that Kitty gave me.

Well - everyone is back to work and I am home alone with Quincy, so I'm off to do a little after Christmas house cleaning while I listen to the Steve Tyrell CD's that Ashley got me. They are great - check out his music.
Filling and Opening our stockings is our favorite part!

Jose takes his stocking literally......must be lost in translation.

Ashley was thrilled that Cadbury decided to do a Christmas Creme Egg.It was a "very techno" Christmas for Brittany.Terry and Quincy cleaning up the wrapping paper....what a waste!

The meal....The ham covered in crust was a Paula Deen turned out beautiful and was tasty. Kind of like a huge pig in a blanket!LOL!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cookie Marathon

I just finished my "Cookie Marathon"....I baked yesterday and today. Nine batches of cookies and three batches of chocolate dipped pretzels, peanut butter treats and almond bark.Does your cookie sheets look this rough? I was going to buy new ones this year...but I thought these had character and they continue to turn out good cookies...they are Air Bake pans.
Red Velvet and Chocolate Whipper Snappers
Peanut Butter Kisses

Cake Balls, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies and Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies

Sugar Cookies
More Chocolate Chip Oatmeal and Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Dipped Pretzels, topped with pecans and sprinkles....and peanut butter filled bugles

Brittany's Peppermint Almond Bark

If you are local and I will be seeing you before Christmas, make sure you get a tray of cookies to take home......I love sharing!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rayality 2: Christmas Edition

Christmas is coming...

OMG....he is so precious!!

Well it has been a busy, but fun December for the Ray family. But we are coming to my favorite part...maybe it's a little bit selfish, but it is important. It's Family time!!

Every year after Thanksgiving, the rush begins...the parties, shopping, church events, community events, etc. But in my mind, there is always a cut off. I time that I more. No more shopping, no more leaving the house, no more events to attend or plan. Then I settle in and enjoy our decorations, I bake, I plan a special dinner for just our little family, I look forward to the games we will play and the movies we will go and see. And it is just about that time. Just one more big event and one more church service.

My shopping is done - all the gifts are wrapped, except for filling the stockings. I have started my baking and will have a marathon day tomorrow to finish up.

I am excited!!

I have more picture to take and Brittany has been promising to tape a "Rayality" for some weeks now. I want to share our decorations with you, so hopefully we can get that on camera for you soon.

Today, Terry and I took a group of men from the New Orleans Mission out for dinner and took them on a shopping spree that was sponsored by members from our church. The guys enjoyed their time out and we enjoyed being with them. On Saturday, the New Orleans Mission will sponsor a Christmas Dinner and give out gifts, play games, etc. Terry and I, along with Brittany will be working the event. Last Saturday, we participated in our community Christmas Parade and our church sponsored a toy give-a-way at our local fire department. Quincy rode along in the parade and greeted the children at the fire station.

I've enjoyed receiving Christmas Cards from friends across the country....don't you just love this time of year!

Let me hear from you and share your family plans.


Brittany and Quincy riding in the Christmas Parade.

Miracle on Fulton Street...Downtown

Monday, December 3, 2007


We enjoyed our Thanksgiving. We started celebrating early and with many different people. Our first celebration was at the New Orleans Mission, where we helped host a community meal for about 300 people, many of them homeless. Terry and I hosted them as they waited to be served.
Then, the next day, we had a Thanksgiving meal with our church family and enjoyed all the traditional fixins' again.
On Wednesday before Thanksgiving, My folks and I headed over to Gulf Shores, Alabama, where we had rented a beach house for the weekend. We got all of our stuff moved in and started making the Thanksgiving meal. Terry, Ashley, Brittany, Jose and Quincy came up later in the evening after everyone got off of work and out of school.
The food was delicious and Brittany made the pumpkin roll this year, it was really good and picture perfect!
The weather wasn't the greatest, but we enjoyed watching the football games, playing dominoes, and shopping!

Comment me and let me know about your Thanksgiving!

Answers to Questions....sorry it took so long!

Okay - it's been almost a month since my last blog entry and no "Rayality." What's up with that"

I don't know...all I can say is it drives me crazy that I am not keeping it up. Let me tell you this, Brittany and I did a Rayality to answer all the questions that came with the last one, but she didn't like how she looked, so she never uploaded it!

So, I am going to quickly give our answers to our viewers questions:

1) Tammy asks - what do we think about the "new idea" of going out of the church to reach the lost.

Answer: It is not a "new idea" to the Ray' has been our mode of operation for all of our ministry, we can't think of a better way to reach the lost, than to go to them.

2) Susan asked that we do a cooking segment....well, we had plans to do that at Thanksgiving and it was just too hectic. But we will soon! Brittany did learn to make Pumpkin Roll from my Mom and her famous recipe, she did a great job and is now the family Pumpkin Roll will be posted above.

3) Lena asked what type of guys the girls were looking for and offered to help find them....she is an instructor at Lee University.

Answer: Ashley is not looking, she found her Prince Charming and will be marrying him next year. Brittany is picky - he has to be passionate about God and ministry, he needs to be driven, handsome, great sense of humor, and rich would be a plus!!

4) Rhonda and Alysse wanted to know our take on Spanish being listed on labels, signs and spoken in announcements in the USA and should people who move here from other countries be required to learn our language.

Answer: We love everyone, as does Rhonda and Alysse and welcome all to our great country. But if you want to partake in all the benefits that American offers, learn the language. Embrace your heritage, but make it easier for all of us as fellow Americans to work and enjoy one another. Learn to speak English. Also, I think being bilingual is cool and beneficial, so Americans should also enrich their lives and learn another language.

Okay - now I feel better - answering the questions, tying up loose ends.

November went by really fast and I can't believe it is December already. On the 11th of November, Terry and I celebrated out 22nd Wedding Anniversary and had a great day together. We enjoyed our beautiful city and then we met up with the kids and went to a Hornet's Basketball game and after the game, there was a concert by "Point of Grace."

Point of Grace has been a Ray family favorite for many years. We have seen them in concert and bought all of their CD's. The girls have sang many of their songs as they were growing up. We really enjoyed the concert and the ladies of Point of Grace were so friendly and even mentioned us a couple of times during the concert, as they could see that we knew the words to every one of their songs. They visited with us a bit after the concert and it was just the icing on the cake, ending a great day together.

Ashley and Brittany with Shelly and Denise from Point of Grace

Check out their new CD: How You Live - the single is being played on my "Myspace Page"...go listen...GREAT SONG!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Country Music
I've never liked Country Music...until "Walk The Line." But really it was probably because of Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Pheonix. So, I bought the soundtrack and I've been singing Jackson ever since.
I also recently bought the new Reba duet album...but there again, I love the Reba television show. So, I love Reba as an actress.
Tonight I am watching the CMA awards and I am realizing that I am really starting to like Country Music. I love Carrie Underwood, but she was my American Idol pick, so I have to stick by her. But the song that Brad Paisley sang was cute, I liked that. And, I do like Rascal Flatts. Oh - and Martina her.
So, I guess I do like Country Music. At least more than I used to. I remember riding in the car with my Dad when I was a kid and listening to Country Music and some of those old songs are classics.....but my Dad was picky about his country music too. He didn't like Johnny Cash or any of those twangy, sad songs.
And Country is cool now...when I was a teenager, it wasn't cool to listen to Country. Remember Barbara Mandrell's song..."I was country when country wasn't cool?" I like her too!
So - I wasn't country when country wasn't cool....but now that It's cool, I'm cool with it.
How about you?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Quincy in the Big Easy...

The weather was so beautiful yesterday, and Brittany had the day off, so we could not resist getting out of the house and going downtown to walk around and enjoy our city. Brittany had the idea to take Quincy along. In all the years that we have lived here, Quincy has never been down to the French Quarter to walk.

He so enjoyed himself and just like other tourist, he bought himself a new T-shirt and enjoyed the sites, sounds, and food of New Orleans.
After lunch at the Lazy River Cafe, he couldn't decide if he was up for Beignets and Coffee, but he did stop by the Cafe for a photo op.
He also visited one of the many ticket and info stands to see what type of tours were available.
He also enjoyed viewing the art work on the fence at the St. Louis Cathedral and would you believe in the middle of all the Fluer De Lis artwork, he found a puppy print.
Then we walked to the River, and Brittany and Quincy enjoyed the view.

Then it was back to the Quarter to finish and walk and decide where we wanted to go next.

Quincy kept thinking about those tours, but it was getting late and we needed to get home.So, we finished our walk where we had begun, back at the French Market. What a great day we had with Quincy and he is looking forward to going back soon!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Quincy with his friend Christina. Christina lives across the street and Quincy loves her. When we go outside, he will cry until she comes over and plays with him.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Coming Soon

Brittany and I taped a "Live" blog tonight.....we had fun, but we haven't figured out how to upload it yet.....but when we do, we will post it on our blogs.

Keep checking back,


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sicko - Yucko

I've been sick since Sunday, well actually I felt it coming on Saturday evening. My eyes were itching and I had that feeling in the back of my throat, but I went to the movie with Brittany anyway. We went to see Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" Good movie, liked it much better than his last movie, "Daddy's Little Girls."

Anyway - back to the subject of my post, I'm sick! I've used at least a box and a half of Kleenex and a bag of cough drops. I hate being sick!! There are a couple of good things about it...being able to stay in your pajamas all day without guilt....and NyQuil.

Quincy certainly enjoys it when one of the Ray family members is sick. He will stay by your side and sleep as long as you sleep....he loves it and is convinced it is all about him.

Tomorrow, I am out of the house regardless of how I feel.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Don't forget to vote!

Here in Louisiana, our primary is scheduled for October 20, 2007, this Saturday. I am amazed at the amount of mailers and phone calls we have recieved. I have one friend who has kept every mailer so she can count them and see how many they have received by the end of the elections. So, I throw mine away and know that I can always go to her house if I feel I need to look over them one more time before I vote.

I was suppose to go to a forum last night for our State Senate candidates in our district, but then I decided not to go. I already know who I am voting for and I have had just about all the politicing I can handle. It stirs up anger in me for the most part....but I can't help it, did any one watch Oprah the other day?? It's my age!

I have a friend that is running for State Rep and I don't know how she does it. It would drive me crazy, all of the events, the hand shaking, smiling, passing out fliers and critisizm. When we talk, I try and encourage her and we pray for her. I want her to win, but only if it is God's will for her life. We certainly need Godly leadership, but it must be hard for Godly people to function in the political world.

I also met someone recently at a bookstore parking lot. Our conversation started over my admiring his car. Then we just chatted for quite some time about our chuches, prayer and the work that Brittany does (she was with me.) He was very kind. As we were leaving, he gave me his card and told me that he was running for insurance commissioner. He didn't have any of his campaign information with him, but told me I would see his name on the ballot. When I got home, I was still thinking about his gentle nature and our conversation about minister's need for health insurance and how he wanted to bring together groups within the state, so we could get group rates. I "Googled" him and did not find any information on his campaign, but was quite surprised at what I found. He was a katrina hero. He had been credited with saving hundreds of lives and received letters of commendation and several awards. He is also a maritime lawyer, Merchant Marines sea captain and commander in the naval reserves. So my kind, new friend was quite a guy. So Google him or check out his site here. If you are from Louisiana, please consider voting for him.

This year our home will have 4 votes. This will be Brittany's first time voting. She has a busy day Saturday, so she has already planned that she will go early in the morning. When the girls were little, I would take them in the voting booth with me and explain what I was doing and how important it was for them in the future. I remember going to vote with my parents when I was young. Their voting precinct was at my elementary school. I loved that feeling of walking into the school with my parents down the 2nd grade hallway to vote. My mom would always ask my dad how to vote before we entered the school, just to make sure she was voting for the right person. I still think of that when I go and I wonder why she didn't decide on her own - not that I think my dad steered her wrong....just a different time I suppose.

So, no longer can the girls go in with me, but maybe someday I will take my grandchildren in the voting booth with me.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Day of Determination

Starting something new always takes keep it up! So today, is a day of determination for me (well tomorrow)....I am blogging tonight, but posting in the morning.

The blog will officially take the place of "Take a Break with Trisha Ray". I am "determined" to keep it updated often. When I first started "Take a Break", more than 4 years ago, I emailed weekly....then monthly, then...well, I haven't posted one since July. Any time I am with a group of people or relatives like I was recently, they always mention to me how much they enjoy the e-mails and miss them. So using this new form of media....well, new to me, we will see how it works, hopefully more efficienlty and enjoyable for the reader. Also listed on the the right of this text....will be links to other blogs and webpages. Like my My Space page is listed...I also enjoy this mode of communication, but I need to use my new "determination" to keep it current as well. Most of the pictures on My Space are more than a year old....but I hate to remove them, because I love all of those memories. I'm getting more and more like my mother....every year when the girls were growing up, I would give her their new school pictures, but she would never take the old ones down and replace them with the new ones....she just kept hanging them up, or putting them on the refrigerator or on the sides of her mirrors. She has pictures on her refrigerator that are at least 15 years old......not that there is anything wrong with that, but I am "determined" to keep this space and my my space page updated!

I also have other "things" that I am "determinted" to do better or more consistently, starting today! I am choosing not to share my list of things that I am going to tackle on my Day of Determination, but I will share later, as I see change and improvement in my life and surroundings.

I love the Fall and even though we are not feeling the cool, crisp weather here in Louisiana, it is the middle of October, so I am going to go with it and start making Chili for dinner and put out my Fall decorations. I alreay have two pumpkins in my flower bed and I am starting to look at recipes for Thanksgiving. This Fall season is my catalyst for the change I am craving in my life. I have been living in a funk for many months. I can't put my finger on it, but I am sure it has something to do with the loss of my brother at the beginning of the year. Although my family has had a blessed year in so many areas and for the most part, life is good...there has just been "something" that has kept me from being and feeling whole - it must be the grief. I don't know if that will ever change, but if there has to be change, I want to find a way for the change to cause me to be a better person. Not only do I grieve for my brother, but for my parents - who will never be whole again.

Recently, I was blessed to enjoy a visit from my cousin Jim and his wife Michele who were in the area on business....we were able to spend a few days and evenings together and it was great to catch up on what time and distance takes away from us.

The girls and I just got back from a Women's Minstries trip to Jacksonville, FL...we had a blast, we took a chartered bus with about 40 ladies from all over the state of Louisiana. Kathy Isaacs headed up the trip and she did an excellent job planning the event and keeping us busy on the bus with games, videos and music. Our hotel was beautiful sitting on the river and we visited historic St. Augustine.

Please comment, you just need to check "other" when leaving your name and comment....also, if you have a PRAYER REQUEST, leave it in the comment section and others can read it as well and we will make sure to agree with you and believe with you for God's will regarding your need.

Looking forward to our new connection!