Sunday, December 28, 2008

Who Are These People Anyway?

I follow quite a few blogs. Some of them I check often, like my cousins', and some are just there so I don't forget where they are when I want to find something. They are in order on my sidebar according to who has updated most recently. You might want to read some too! Here is what you can expect from each (in the order they appear today):
The Meyers Chronicles-this is posted by my cousin Melissa. She is a stay-at-home mom of two little boys. We both enjoyed growing up with lots of family around...have moved away from said family, and try to keep our kids in touch.
My Charming Kids-one of my favorite reads, this is mom who has four kids, ages 3 and under. She just has a certain style that makes me crack up. I found her blog through The Meyers Chronicles. I have referred to her before as 'MckMama'
PW Full RSS Feed-I'm not sure why it shows up with that title, but it is "Pioneer Woman". As far as I can tell she lives in the middle of no where on a ranch. I like to see her photography tips...I could take or leave the rest of it.
4 Love of Family-This family is friends with My Charming Kids and I check it once in awhile to see more pictures of things they do together.
It's Twinsanity-This blog is by a mom who has 6 children, with 2 sets of twins. I found her when she left a comment on MckMama's blog. Twins fascinate me...and she has 2 sets. Her husband is due to deploy with the Army in just a few days.
The Morgan's Matinee-This is posted by my friend Erin from high school. We were in choir and many musicals together. She has one little cutie named Finnegan. I've really enjoyed getting back in touch with her through her blog.
Baby Makes 3!-I found this blog through a "Not Me Monday". We've e-mailed a few times, and she is a mom of a little boy, Zaden, and one baby on the way.
Pinkdebsters Xanga-This is my friend Debbie from my Wednesday night church. We are in a mom's Bible study together. She has a little boy in Snug's class and a little girl in Baby J's nursery.
Racecars and Ruby Slippers-When I was at Cedarville I had only about 15 people in a majority of my classes by the time I was a senior. We did student teaching, observations, methods, and projects together. This is posted by Melissa, who was part of that group, and I've enjoyed getting to know her kids though her posts.
The Alburgers-my friend and RA from college puts up this post about her new little baby Jackson. I can't wait to meet him in person.
Of Love And Loss-Another person I met through "Not Me Monday" and enjoy e-mailing back and forth occasionally. She has a daughter and a new baby on the way.
You Can Never Have Too Many-I just added this one today, after it being recommended by Debbie. After reading just a bit I was hooked. She likes to do things as naturally as possible too...and I am just learning, so I need all the help I can get.
Living For The Line-Donna was a teacher at my elementary school and blogs about her fight against cancer. She has an amazing testimony and I read her blog whenever I start feeling sorry for myself-I have nothing to complain about.
Rutledge 6-I grew up in the same church as Angel's husband. I have always admired the Rutledge family. This branch of the Rutledge family has a blog about their family and their journey through adopting two children from Liberia.
Our Life, Blog Style-this blog is by my cousin Crystal. She has a boy who is in kindergarten (I can't believe it!) and a little girl. I miss seeing her kids grow up so it is fun to read her blog and see what her kids are doing.
Irish Rovings-this blog is one I helped my aunt set up for her Christmas letter. I am hoping she continues to post so I can see her grandkids (my cousin's children) grow up. We get to see them one or two times a year.
The Everyday Adventures Of Two Little Irish Boys-remember that small band of college students I was with my senior year? Derika was a part of it too, and we also have taken some master's classes together. She has two young boys-I was pregnant with Snug while she was pregnant with her oldest-but he is 6 months older.
Dirty Laundry-Airing It Out...One Load At A Time-this blog will make you laugh. April and her husband were RD's at my college and now are missionaries with The Navigators. They have four children, one of whom they adopted recently from China.
Just Another Smith-My best friend (and probably the best friend I ever had) when I was in high school writes this blog. We lost communication for almost 10 years, and now I love to read up on what she is doing. She is expecting a little girl soon, and has a little boy who makes me laugh. She needs to blog more often, because it is the funniest read I ever have. She could be an author.
Miles and Miles to Mylei-this is April's original blog. It documents her journey in adoption. I keep it on there for reference on adoption (something we are considering, though not seriously at this point).
Floyd and Pam in Costa Rica-this blog is rarely updated because the Elmore's live in Costa Rica and don't always have internet to blog with . Pastor Floyd was the head of the Bible department when I was in school, and then my pastor for a few years before going to the missions field.
21 different blogs...21 totally different stories...21 ways to NOT get my laundry done, cloth diapers hung on the line, supper started, e-mail read...but just so we are clear, I do NOT write my blogs or check other people's while my kids are up. Ok, Ok, so sometimes I read them, but only if Snug is on my lap and there are lots of pictures of kids posted. He loves Jayce, MckNugget, Matthew, Finn, Alex, Riley, Crystal's kids, himself, and all the pictures of pets. He takes mild interest in other children who are posted, but usually those kids are his favorites. So sorry if your kids didn't make the post...try having them post with some sort of sports equipment, Bob the Builder trucks, or eating food. Those usually get his attention.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

RSV, Our Tub, and Me

We got the call today that Baby J does have RSV...but there is nothing we can do but monitor him and if his breathing is labored take him to the ER. He is just miserable, and I am so glad my parents are here to help out. He wants to be held ALL the time. Please pray that his lungs stay clear and it doesn't develop into pneumonia. Snug is also complaining again about his ears hurting...the other ear too. We have 5 more days of antibiotics to go.

On a lighter note, we went to Lowe's and spent all of our hard earned envelope on our 'new bathroom'. I am so so excited! Well, not all the envelope money, but more than we thought we would be spending in one trip. We decided to open a Lowe's credit card to save the 10% then pay it off and close the we bought everything we thought we'd possibly need, kept the receipt in case we bought too much and needed to return anything, and saved a bunch of money! And no, we don't normally use credit cards on anything, but technically we have the cash and will stick it in the bank and pay the bill. I will take pictures of before and after the demolition/remodel.

And finally ME! (yeah, you can stop reading, the interesting stuff is over). I am really enjoying having my parents here and help with the kids. We had a nice Christmas celebration with them today and I will post pictures later. I also made a quinoa and rice pilaf for supper, I'll share the recipe later if I remember! It was 65 deg today...amazing.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I Need More Fat In My Diet

I took Baby J back to the doctor this morning for his 6 month check up. He weighs 13lbs 11oz...that is the 5th percentile, but I don't look at him and see a baby who is wasting away! He was sneezing and wheezing and coughing and had goobers coming out his nose. Clearly not impressed with this, the doctor is delaying his vaccinations until next week. He 'gained' and ounce since Tuesday, but I know that isn't entirely true...Tuesday he hadn't wanted to eat in like 5 hours when we were there and today he had just eaten right before the appointment...that liquid has to account for some of his weight. I didn't bother to mention that to the doctor because she was already saying that if he hadn't made enough weight gain by next Friday I'd have to supplement. She also mentioned that I needed to make sure I was getting enough fat in my diet. I assured her that I was, but hey, who doesn't like to hear that they can have some more? :o)
So, if you are praying for my family, as I know many of you do, please pray that Baby J gains weight and doesn't have RSV (we will find the result of that test tomorrow). Always boring around here you know!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day And Way Too Many Pictures

We had a great Christmas. I have a couple of Not Me's about it...but overall, very fantastic!
We had a great fire (not that this picture shows it) thanks to #1. He and Baby J enjoyed quite a bit of cuddle time. #1 got a bunch of work out type equipment and I cleared out a space in the basement for him to use it in.

I got a new sling from Kangaroo Korner it is a wrap sling as opposed to my ring slings that I make. It is really comfortable and even Snug liked getting a ride. Sorry, I look a
I'm not 'wearing' Snug here, he kept trying to sit behind me today so I would "squish" him.

Snug got a new Nalgene bottle (BPA free), a Diego bathtub boat toy, a stocking full of cars/Frutiibu/etc, and a magnetic drawing board (like a magnadoodle). He especially liked the 'magnadoodle' and spent the afternoon with it.
So much fun to 'color' and then erase and then 'color' and erase and 'color' and erase and...
Yep, it was a hit :o)
Baby J got his first baseball glove, a dinosaur that you put balls into, a stocking full of goodies, and two cute wooden toys from Haba (and no, you know me, I did NOT pay full price). I linked to a store that has a wide variety if you are interested in purchasing any...but I"ll give you a hint that is always good...ahem...
And boy are they yummy! He got his second tooth today too.
What? My friends in Washington State and Michigan didn't have their kids out riding bikes today? What you have feet upon feet of snow? What? You didn't hear it was in the low 50's and sunny here? It is snow much more fun to ride your trike in the sun than in the slush. (No, he didn't get this for Christmas, he got it for his birthday even though he wasn't quite big enough for it yet...we didn't think it would be this, um, "nice" at Christmas).
Playing outside today with him made me think of this post. Wow, he has already changed. Oh, and as an early "Not Me" I did not have Snug outside playing today when he still has a tiny cough and is on antibiotics from his ear infection. I don't think I even wrote about that. On Tuesday we took the kids to the doctor because Snug was coughing so hard he was vomiting and kept telling me he had a bruise in his ear...usually means that something hurts. I set up an appointment for Baby J just as a precaution...he had a little cough too. Turns out they both had an ear infection and Baby J has lost a pound since his 4 month checkup (he'll be 6 months Saturday). Today you wouldn't even know Snug had been sick, but Baby J isn't snapping out of it so fast. He goes back in tomorrow.
Hope you and all of your families had a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Merry Christmas! It is Christmas Eve, but my husband is working and my kiddos are in bed, so I might as well post my bi-weekly EYE SPY post where you SPY what EYE post! If you and your little people like these posts, grab my button from my sidebar for your blog (thanks to Melissa of Color Me Happy Designs. Happy Looking!
Sorry today's picture is kinda fuzzy...I don't think I had my camera set up correctly. If you need to see it bigger you can click on the picture.

Can you spot three jingle bells shiny? Look really close, they are kinda tiny.

And speaking of tiny, these two are just that. Each little man has a mini Santa hat.

If tonight you are still up wrapping gifts for the kids, you might need these bows to go on the lids.

I save the best for last, so everyone will remember. Jesus is the reason we celebrate each December.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Dear Friends and Family (and lurkers who read my blog and don't leave comments :o),

This is our official Christmas letter. If you are reading this entry you are either a frequent reader of my blog, got our Christmas postcard and checked this address out, or happened upon my blog from another blog. Welcome! Please note that I do not usually use our family's real names to protect their privacy, and if you are reading after January 15 their names have been removed. There are many places you can click to see more information...hang on, this is a L O N G post!
This was a big year for our family. Two of the biggest things for 2008 were having Baby J, and starting Financial Peace University.
Winter 2008 brought lots of beautiful snow! Snug posed for a few pictures but...

...he also fell quite a bit seems how he learned to walk just a couple of months earlier. Chester did his best to help him, being a snow dog and all!

March came in like a lion, but definitely went out like a lamb. Here is one of my favorite pictures from 2008...unfortunately that scrape on Snug's nose was also his first scar (many more to come, I'm sure!)
Snug got his new big boy bed...and see that paci in his mouth? He gave it up on his own a couple of days after this picture was taken.

All dressed up for Easter Sunday.

Watching a Cedarville University baseball game at Dayton Dragon's stadium. These boys guys love to play and watch ball!

If only our grass looked this nice all summer! Snug loves to play outside and pick dandelions. We had very little rain this summer, so by the end our grass looked a little more like the Sahara than this!
Memorial Day bubbles with Grandmommy.

Uncle Nathan got to come for Memorial Day too! He and my parents were on their way back from a wedding.

Softball is a big part of our spring...summer...and fall! Snug absolutely loves watching daddy play. #1 still loves his job as a police officer and is now a certified fitness trainer. He enjoys working out daily...and is trying to motivate me :o)
Here is a photo of #1's team at their Virginia Beach tournament.

A family photo at the Richmond Zoo. We had such a nice day at this zoo...and it was an unexpected part of our trip. Our flight was at 8:00pm not am. So we had 12 hours to kill and a beautiful zoo to explore.

Snug is feeding a giraffe! What a treat!

After a few weeks of bed rest it was time for Baby J to be born! He weighed 7 lbs 1 oz, 21 inches long. Snug loves being a big brother, and helps take very good care of him.

Baby J had many visitors come see him at the hospital. Here he is with Uncle Daniel.

Welcome to the family Baby J!

Baby J posed in daddy's softball glove, just like Snug did 2 years ago.

We spent most of July hanging out in the backyard. #1 even got in on the pool action!
We also had lots of out of town visitors to see Baby J. My mom and dad came a few times, and of course "Pop Pop" helped us fix a few things around the house.

My Aunt Beth, cousin Katie, and her four children came to visit when Baby J was a few weeks old. I love how Daniel is making the same face as Jack (and that he is wearing a Michigan shirt!).

Aunt Carol from Michigan came too. Her grandkids (and their parents!) go to church with us, but this was the first time they met Baby J. We miss our out of town friends and family, but really love our local friends and many are like family.

Hi there! This is Snug. I am going to take over my mom's letter and share some of my thoughts for 2008. This year I learned to walk, talk, run, ride my tricycle (with help), jump, swim, use the potty, and charm everyone. Ok, I've been doing that last one since I was very small, but I haven't lost my touch. I enjoy having kids here everyday to play with, visiting the library, eating, and I LOVE going to church. I like to color, play with my cars and trains, and I LOVE everything that has anything to do with sports. If you want to keep up with me as I grow, visit this blog and maybe that will happen...I'm growing fast!

For those of you who don't know these two, they are Brent and Doneda. They are Snug and Baby J's godparents (I don't think that needs a capital...not sure) and good friends of ours. They are the ones who started us on our Financial Peace journey this year. They (of course) also came to see Baby J. Thank you to everyone who came out to meet Baby J, help while I was on bed rest, and brought meals. We appreciate it very much.
In August a softball tournament brought us to Michigan and we made the most of it! It coincided with Aunt Jane returning from Africa, and Uncle Nathan and Aunt Danielle were visiting also. Please know that we I forced Jenny and Grandmommy a few people to take this shot, but we had a great African dinner while we were there.
Snug turned 2 in August...and I still can't believe it. We had a party at our house in Ohio, and then another one in Michigan. Now if you ask him "Snug, how are you?" he will answer as if you had asked "Snug how old are you?" with a hearty "I two!". If you ask how old he is, he is likely to tell you he is 3 or 4...because he would really like to be just like the other kids I babysit for.
We got to see lots of family at Snug's second birthday/welcome home Aunt Jane/get to visit with Nathan and Danielle party. This is my cousin Crystal with Baby J...who slept (he spent the first two months sleeping).
Uncle Nathan and Aunt Danielle
Big brother and going to be bigger than him little brother

The fall brought some big surprises for us, and we were very glad for our "emergency fund". We had a hurricane (yes, you read that correctly) that left us without electricity for a week. During this time we got to know our neighbors and found out Snug can work like nobody's business! And we do have the best neighbors in the world!

Our "new kitchen"

Some of our storm damage. We were so blessed, many people had limbs on their homes and a few were killed.

And this was our other fall surprise. Halloween night I hit a deer (or did it hit me?). Everyone was fine, but we went through quite an ordeal and learned that we really cannot get away with one car. Thank you to all our friends and family that helped us through this situation also!

Here is a nicer Halloween picture. Snug needed a haircut, but insisted he keep his "pike". I gave him a makeshift mohawk that we actually liked, and we are not normally mohawk people. #1 says it "fits his personality". When we eventually cut it off, he cried. He still asks for it and it is weeks later...we'll see...

Baby J's baby dedication was also in October. We love our church and are so blessed to have many people there who love and care for our children.
Snug, Baby J, and I got to go to my cousin Kevin and his new wife Rachel's wedding reception in October. They were married in July, but had a lovely reception for those of us who didn't get to go. (You know, those of us who had just had a baby!) This picture is of my cousin Melissa's two boys with ours. Jayce is almost four months younger than Snug, and Grayson is about 2 months younger than Baby J.

(Snug here again...are you still reading this? My mom is soooo long winded! This is another of my mom's favorite pictures. See how nice I am sitting with my brother?)

The Ohio State vs. Michigan game is a 'holiday' in the Dray household. #1 has been partying alot more than I have been in the past few years, but we still enjoy the day. We enjoyed the game with our neighbors the Castles this year (thanks guys!)
In December we became debt free. It was a lot of work, but God has blessed us richly this year, and we hope we can in turn, be a blessing to others. If you want to know how on earth we did this with the current economy, please ask us, or visit
Merry Christmas!
The Drays