Archive for the ‘Family Fun’ Category

Thanksgiving 2008 in Photos

chief-jane3“Chief Jane” the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  A happy preschool chief indeed.


The Thanksgiving Table.  A wonderful meal surrounded by a wonderful family.



Grandaddy’s Birthday was the next day.  

Have you ever seen a happier Grandaddy with 10 of his 13 grands?


Oops–  here’s grand #13.  Somehow baby Ava got left out of the birthday picture.


Every year on the way back from Arkansas, we say “We ought to stop and take Jane’s picture underneath the Jane, Missouri sign.”  This year we did it!


We knew that Thanksgiving was really over when we woke up to this

the morning after we returned from our trip!  The Christmas season was

christened with a snowy wonderland.


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My Beloved


Here’s a little meme about my husband. If you’re needing blogging material, consider yourself tagged!

What’s your husband’s name?
Well…his name is Spencer Colay Ray. Spencer is his paternal grandmother’s maiden name and Colay is his mother’s maiden name. We’ve passed down both of his names to our children. (Truett Colay and Anna Spencer.) There have been a few people over the years who have shortened his name to “Spence” but not me. I don’t know– it just doesn’t work for me.
How long have you guys been married?
We will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary this December! We had the longest wedding of anybody I’ve ever known! Two preachers/sermons…3 solos…and a segment of congregational worship. But I still love to watch my wedding video every year on our anniversary. I wouldn’t change a thing to this day!

How long did you date?
Hmmmm…well…we met in August of 1988. I was a freshman elementary education major and he a senior Bible major with languages. He says we were introduced to each other three times before I finally remembered who he was. We got to know each other casually over meals in the cafeteria at SBU and then he asked me to go on a walk with him during the last week of September. When we got back to campus, I was chilled to the bone but exhilarated! It was a very long walk. 🙂 I fell in love with him on that walk. He asked me to marry him the following September (of 1989) and we married in December of 1990. We would have married sooner but my parents wouldn’t let us.

How old is he?
41. Hard. to. believe.

Who is taller?
He’s 5’11” and I’m 5’6″ or 7″

Who can sing the best?
Me– but he wins the award for being the loudest singer/worshipper I’ve ever met. He even owns a t-shirt that says “Real men sing real loud.”

Who is smarter?
He is. He went to the U of A on a full scholarship from Dow Chemical and won all kinds of math trophies and went to summer long camps for the gifted/genius/nerd kids. I made good grades, but I was much more concerned about what I was going to wear to class each day. 🙂

Who does the laundry?
Me. I *think* he can run the washer. I’m pretty sure he has done a load when I’ve been sick or something.

Who pays the bills?
From 1990-2000, I did. From 2000-2007, he took over. (Let’s just say, math is not my strong suit.) In September of 2007, we started the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover and now we do the budget TOGETHER and I take care of the hassle of actually writing out the checks, etc… It is the best of both worlds. Truly.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
In this house, when you are facing the bed…I sleep on the right side. In whatever room we’re in, in whatever house we’re in, I sleep on the side of the bed that’s closest to the bathroom. (The things we divulge on the internet.)

Who mows the lawn?
Before we moved here, Spencer did it. Now RG and Norma do it. (And Truett– every other week.) I have never mowed the lawn in our entire married life! I tried once while Spencer was away, but he insisted that it was not for a lady to do. He’s never said that about the laundry, by the way. 🙂

Who cooks dinner?
Me. Every night without exception, unless we go out. Spencer often will cook a big omelet breakfast on Saturday mornings and he’s also a fantastic griller. That seminary job working for Coburn Catering really paid off. 🙂

Who is the first to admit they are wrong?
It’s about even. Both of us need our space– but someone always eventually apologizes. We rarely go to bed angry.

Who kissed who first?
He asked me if he could kiss me and then he did it. On a bridge in a park in Bolivar.


Who wears the pants?
We both wear pants. However, I am the only skirt wearer. Ha.

Seriously, Spencer is the best spiritual leader I know of. He leads our family, plays with our family, takes care of our family and prays for everyone of us by name every single day. I am confident that our kids will grow up and look back and know that their dad was the head of our home and I pray that my boys will follow his example and that my girls will marry guys just like him!

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A Fun Night

Jane dressed up as a princess.  After fourteen straight days of pointing to the dress hanging in the closet, she finally got to wear it!  The shoes were her favorite, of course!

Jane saying:  “Mom!  Look!  Abbey gave me ‘paint nails!'”

Anna the Angel.  (Titus never slowed down long enough for me to snap his picture.)

Moses in Nikes.  (That would my husband!)

We passed out 276 Gospel tracks  (I ordered those cool Chick “comic book” tracks.  The kids love ’em!) and said “Jesus loves you a million times!  It was a great Trunk & Treat.  Now, where are those Kit Kat bars anyway?

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This is a little late for the posting– but my boy turned fifteen last week two weeks ago and I wanted to share his handsomeness with you. The old ladies in the church always warn you that your kids will grow up in the blink of an eye and oh my, are those words oh-so-true. Truett is no longer the chubby faced toddler who loved a good Hotwheel and could spend all day playing with his Legos. He’s still mechanical though and can now be found spending all day disassembling and reassembling a computer on his bed. You know. Just for fun. He’s very loyal to his dad and me and we treasure him greatly. We named him after the famous preacher George Truett in hopes that he would grow up to be a “lover of Truth.” I guess I need to remember that when he reminds me that I’m parking in a “no park zone” and “No, it doesn’t matter that you’re only going to be there for a few minutes. The sign says “No park.” Just like his dad, God bless him

Here are a few snapshots of his weekend:

I always make a sign for the fireplace that states their name and new age. It’s become a tradition to pose in front of it for your birthday, hopefully wearing a new piece of clothing. Sometimes not. Notice Truett’s NO Bama shirt. He specifically asked for that shirt as he loves a good, friendly debate with his history teacher.

Our family thinks they’re being hilarious. Little Jane actually came up with this pose. Notice how Truett is only tolerating them.

Truett’s birthday always falls on the same weekend as our town’s Chatauqua

(The equivalent to some town’s “homescoming weekend” or other town’s Apple Festivals.)

My ten year old, Anna exclaimed in delight when she saw the men in the bucket trucks hanging the Chatauqua streamers– “OH! It’s Chatauqua! My very favorite time of the year!” (Yes, that’s our town’s only stop light. If you’ve seen the movie Cars, you’ve seen our town.)

Chatauqua, of course, wouldn’t be complete without a parade. That’s our Abbey, directing the High School band.

Truett playing his marching French Horn. Sorry– you’ll have to cock your head to the side for some of these. I rotated them in iphoto, but can’t get them to transfer that way to the blog.

Spencer driving the church van…

Titus, Anna and a friend have the much coveted position of carrying the flags for their AWANA club.

The kids are always exhausted after a parade– but Truett didn’t want to wait for Red Lobster. (I always save points all year to get restaurant cards for the kids’ birthdays and the boys ALWAYS pick Red Lobster.) Good thing it’s free for us- the total bill was $130.00. But wow were those crab legs scrumptous!

But he perked up a bit when he opened up his birthday gift– a Mac Powerbook purchased used off of Ebay by us and both sets of grandparents. He couldn’t have been happier. Happy Birthday Son.

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First Day of School

All five Rays on the first day of school.  Jane just woke up, but wants to go with them.  Sniff.  Sniff.

All five Rays on the first day of school. Jane just woke up, but wants to go with them. Sniff. Sniff.

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Kodak Moments

The good news is: The Ray family photos have been taken for this year– you can thank me at Christmas.

The other good news is: Everyone had a matching white shirt and a dark pair of shoes; we found belts for both of the boys and a friend of mine saved the day by making a white hair bow for Jane when I realized that our own white hair bow was apparently in the same place in which half of our socks currently reside. And we arrived on time. And it only took an hour.

The bad news is: MY HAIR DOESN’T LIKE HUMIDITY. And I’m guessing yours doesn’t either, so you might want to take my advice and schedule your own outdoor family photo-op during any other month rather than August. When we got back in the car after our hour-long photo shoot, I flipped the car visor down, looked at myself in the mirror and cringed. I looked like I had just walked through the Amazon rain forest. But I consoled myself with the thought that maybe, just maybe, those pictures that we took during the first ten minutes turned out well. A girl can hope, can’t she?

The kids were real troopers. I warned them ahead of time that this was going to take some time. I told them that they would be hot and uncomfortable and at times frustrated, but to please, for pity’s sake, NOT COMPLAIN IN FRONT OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER and to just KEEP SMILING! And they did. The photographer was great too and worked very, very hard with our family. She deserves an award or something. Her hardest task was to keep Jane looking at the camera while at the same time making sure that the other six family members had their hands in the right position, their chins tilted just so and their knees pointing the right way. And to remember all seven of our names. “Hey guy… Brother. The other brother. Could you scoot just a tad closer to your sister? No, your little sister. No, your OTHER little sister.” Fun times.

The highlight had to be when she asked if Jane had a favorite song or something– something to sing to her to keep her attention. So another real highlight was singing the theme song to Dora the Explorer all while wearing our matching white shirts and kneeling in a rocky creek bottom.

But it’s behind us and so now I can focus on more relaxing things like looking for seven sleeping bags, finding Truett’s swimsuit and getting all of our suitcases packed and ready to load BEFORE SUNDAY SCHOOL AT 9:15AM TOMORROW. Ahhhh. What a relief. This really is the life.

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School Shoes

School starts for us in twenty-four days. TWENTY. FOUR. DAYS. Where did our summer go? The kids and I went shopping for school shoes this past weekend– because we’re all going to church camp in a week and I needed to get this annual task out of the way.) And for all you traditionalists– OF COURSE THEY CANNOT WEAR THESE UNTIL THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!! (That was really for Abbey, in case she’s reading this. Just a friendly reminder. I really am a traditionalist and I like for the kids to even SMELL NEW on the first day of school.)

Here is a picture of their new school shoes, in age order. (Hooray for Famous Footwear’s annual sale!!) Notice how HUMONGOUS one particular child’s shoe is. These shoes belong to my babies. My very big, grown up babies…

When we walked into the shoe store last Friday, my only intension was to buy for the four school-aged children/teens. But as soon as we crossed the Famous Footwear threshold, Jane went bezerk! “Mama– I would like some little pink shoes. Mama? I would like some little pink shoes. Hey. Mama. I would like some LITTLE PINK SHOES!” (Rewind and repeat about one-hundred more times.) How was I supposed to resist a request for LITTLE PINK SHOES? However, my resolve quickly became strong as I found the only little pink shoes in the store for $30.00. To get the “Buy one, get one for half” deal, you have to have an even number of shoes to purchase and she was the odd man girl out. I promised her we would look else where for “little pink shoes” at the next store and prayed that God would lead me to a deal. Fifteen minutes later as we were perusing the t-shirts and hoodies in Old Navy, the little pink shoes you see in the picture surfaced for $3.50. God provided the cutest “little pink shoes” that you ever did see for a certain little girl and the day was saved. And I was glad to treat her. I know from experience that her shoes and her soul won’t stay little for very long.

My first born baby grew up somehow.
And I never saw, though it was under my brow…

Mary F. Early

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