Author Archives: raypbj

Our spring so far


We have been having a great spring so far and I feel like the excitement really hasn’t even started yet – with the new house *supposed* to officially be under construction TOMORROW! and expecting Sweet Pea’s arrival weeks after we close on the house, there is a lot we are looking forward to right now!  That is not to say that we haven’t had a great year so far.

First, we found out the gender of our newest little Ray…and we were totally shocked.  I am learning more and more that God has many ways of keeping us humble, and one of them (atleast for me) is when I think I know what is going on or going to happen.  And so, in this case…when I just KNEW that we were having another girl, ITS A BOY!  We are thrilled and looking forward to meeting our little guy and the kids are excited to get another brother, too.

We officially have a building pad on which, Lord willing, a foundation will be laid in the next few days.  Please pray along with us for very little to no rain!!  As I have understood things, if we can get the compaction test passed and foundation laid, then rain won’t slow us down too much and we can hopefully keep a close date well before (which in this case means 2 weeks) SweetPea’s due date.

Cecily is growing so fast and learning so much from her brothers, especially.  This has both good and bad aspects!  The good are all those things you might imagine – learning to take turns and share, learning to sit still when it is appropriate, learning to play all sorts of games and do fun things.  The “bad” (or at the very least funny) are that she has learned to stand up beside the toilet to pretend to go potty along with the boys, she climbs in and out of their gigantic dirt hole in the back yard with them (which is way deeper than she is tall) and wants to climb, slide down, jump on, etc…anything the boys might.  She definitely has the will to keep up and she often makes my heart skip a beat with the latest feat she is attempting.  Bryan thinks that we should always keep her dressed like she is in this photo to remind her (and us) that she is a girl!

Jonathon is in a “worker-man” phase and just loves driving down the road close to our house where they are widening the road.  He thinks that all of the big equipment and all of the worker-men are just about the greatest thing ever.  He has his own worker-man vest and tool backpack that he often wears wherever we are going.  This, along with his cowboy boots, make quite a fashion statement.  I love that he thinks he looks great and it never crosses his mind to be the least bit self-conscious.  He runs, plays with Elliot & Cecily, sings at the top of his lungs & gives random people high fives.  He has got quite the personality.  This photo was just taken the other day and is one of my all-time favorites…the kids were all playing in the water sprinkler and pretending that they were fountains as they spit the water out…I just happened to catch him mid-air with water spurting out – I think he makes quite a fine fountain!

Elliot is also so much fun – and in a very different way.  He also sings at the top of his lungs (usually while playing the air guitar or other make-shift guitar) or drums on anything he can find to beat on.  He loves music and is going to begin piano lessons even this week.  He would like to start with guitar or drum lessons, but we have said that once he has a background in piano, then we will think of moving on to another instrument.  If he chooses drums, we are going to let him play whenever he is out at Aunt Megan & Uncle Michael’s house.  He amazes me at how quickly he picks up and learns things.  The most recent subject to fascinate him has been math (Lord, help me).  We are working on his reading and handwriting primarily right now with school type activities.  He is very proud to be 5 now and likes to pretend he is about to turn 9.  He also loves to ride his bike & do stunts on it – Bryan has made dirt mounds for him in the backyard to ride over and try to pop wheelies and he loves to zoom through the ditch between our front yard and the road.  That was another heart-stop moment for me when I saw it for the first time, but he has a blast and usually doesn’t wreck…usually.

Lord willing, I will be posting some construction photos in the very near future!!!  Remember…please pray for NO RAIN on the lot for a week or so.  That might help with the pregnancy heartburn just a little.  😮


Facebook is history!


Atleast for now…And it is really freeing!  It is a lot like the day that we had our TV disconnected from any broadcast programming…Bryan and I both just felt FREE!  I know it sounds silly, but just having simplified that little bit of our lives made such a huge difference…and the FB thing has been the same for me.  This week, I have enjoyed not knowing what friends I haven’t seen in 20 years are cooking for dinner or which Pinterest project involving toilet paper they just completed.  That sounds cold, but the flip side is that I have a lot more space in my brain and even a little more time to keep up with those people in my day to day right now.  And, thankfully for blog sites such as this, I can still bug those that love us with photos and all sorts of day-to-day information about what is going on with us.

So, for those of you that might not know (or atleast have seen an ultrasound photo yet), here is SweetPea! 

SweetPea Ultrasound

We are now about 14 weeks along.  Momma is enjoying the benefits of being past the 1st trimester, though the evenings are still characterized by a good bit of nausea.  I will forego fitting into “normal” clothes anyday in exchange for no more nausea!  I was able to feel the baby moving the other day for the first time.  The boys are really excited about when they will be able to feel the baby move when they put their hands on my tummy. 

Jonathon just turned 3 and Cecily just turned 1 in the past few weeks – we had a party and enjoyed lots of you being with us – unfortunately, we will just have to wait on photos from that as we pray that the Lord would allow us to find our camera!!  One of my mindless pregnancy slips recently has been losing the camera (along with going to the check-out line in Publix with a cart full of groceries and no money as well as altogether losing my Debit Card, which has (thankfully) been recovered by now).  Hopefully we will be able to post some photos of the party and cake “playing” for Cecily if and when we get the camera back and downloaded.

Finally, we are excited that we have signed a contract on a new house – new to us and just new!  It will be built, Lord willing, by June or July if all goes as planned…just in time for our projected August 4 due date.  Again, if all goes as planned, I am sure we will be posting many photos of this in the upcoming months.  The neighborhood is about only 10 minutes from where we currently live, but feels a little more “out.”  The boys (and Cecily, for that matter!) will have woods just behind our back yard to tromp & ride bikes through.  My Dad walked the property for us as we were trying to make our decision and said that he saw evidence of pigs rooting around back there – that would be an interesting encounter!  With all the snorting Jonathon has been doing lately, he will feel right at home.

Well, thank you for visiting and keeping up with us – please let us hear from you soon, too!

“Dot has a hat”


I never knew how much fun this was going to be.  I also never knew how much work this parenting thing was going to be, but that is for another time…Right now I am just so excited about Elliot’s reading!  It is amazing how excited I can get (not to mention him) when he learns something new and enjoys it so much.  We are about half way through our phonics book that we are working on.  He is really enjoying it and doing great.  We don’t do it every day…just when it suits our schedule…and he loves it!  There have been mornings when the first thing out of him mouth is, “Mommy…wait…” (he is still in the process of waking up) “Mommy…we haven’t done our reading yet!” 

Today was a milestone for him and reading, I guess.  We have these little early readers that were given to us.  He read the first 3 with no help from me!  I’m just glad I ended up cleaning out their closet yesterday so we found them!  Here is one of the stories: “Dot has a hat. Dot has a cat. The cat has a hat. Dot has a dog. Dog has a hat. Dog has a rag hat. Sad dog. Sad Dot. Sad cat. Dog has on a rag hat.  The End”

Riveting, I know.  But I honestly think it was the best book I have ever had read to me.  It is hard to believe that 4 years ago he, not Cecily, was the one that I was hoping upon hope that he would just stinkin’ sleep past 4:00 am.  What fun to see him grow and change and learn and have so much fun along the way.  Lord willing, I’ll be enjoying hearing Jonathon & Cecily read their first books to me before much time passes at all…what a gift to get to be a part of their lives!



We have recently decided that we are going to intoduce the boys to the world of chores.  Being that they are 2 and 4, I (Momma) am not entering this with expectations too high, but I am excited to get a start on this and get them used to helping out around the house on a daily basis.  They already help me set the table, help fold some clothes/napkins and put them away and things of that nature.  However, I think that I just hit the nail on the head with quite possibly the best idea of my parenting years to date…a vacuum they can use!  It also “transforms” into a dust buster so they can just suck up dirt and dust from anywhere!  They think that Christmas has come early and are so excited to be able to use this real tool that really works and makes noise to boot. 

Now, I realize that this level of excitement will not last a long time, but I am going to capitalize on it while it does!  Here are some photos of the boys sweating it out.

Elliot getting up the lunch crumbs!

Jonathon being VERY thorough on the carpet.

While most of their chores will be something like “brush your teeth” or “put away your PJS” I am looking forward to soon being able to sit back and watch them clean the entire house while I eat bon bons…ooh…I guess I’ll have to wait until I can teach Cecily to make bon bons…

We’ve jumped in the “blogging boat!”


Realizing that there aren’t very many people out there that would like to keep up with our day to day life down to the smallest detail…the Ray Family is entering the world of blogging!  This has grown out of a desire to stop using other social networking sites but wanting to continue in the ability to – every so often – share everyday events and photos with our family and friends.  We’re glad you are in that group! 

Our little sailors!

Our "sailors" in the laundry basket boat