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!