Saturday, February 21, 2009

Valentine Day

Another Valentine Day has come and went. Some happy daughters in the house - some not so happy!! HA!! We finally all got healthy in our house. I think Ray, Sarah and Grandma were the only ones that escaped that virus from hell.

Valentine was on a weekend day so that was nice. Our day started out with breakfast by Ray and Grant. It was SO precious!! They made breakfast for all of us girls. After that Ray and Grant handed out their Valentine gifts. Ray and Grant had gotten all us girls our standard homemade cards (which are ALWAYS awesome&different) and chocolates and Grants conversation hearts that he loves to get the girls and read them to "the sisters". Ray usually gets all of us a bundle of flowers but he didn't this year, but the girls had another Valentine for the flowers! Austin came to pick Hannah up and brought all the girls flowers and precious poems that he had written each of them. So, they all really felt blessed even if they didn't have a Valentine for the day.

ALOT of years Ray and I stay home - usually we do because the restaurants are SO crowded. Since Ray is such a good cook he usually makes me a yummy dinner because Valentine is for girls only, or that is what he has always said. He usually makes something we don't have at home - crab, lobster - something special. When our kids were little we would have to be very creative...since nobody wants to babysit on Valentine Day at their house, we would do silly things. Ray loves surprises so 1 year he made steak/lobster and the works. He set up a table in our bedroom in front of our fireplace and it was SO special. He had music, candles and the thing I remember the most is, to drown out the kids downstairs - we turned on the box fan! It was a HOOT - I don't know what they were doing down there but Rach was in charge, usually, so I am sure they were fine.

SO, since Olivia didn't have plans which was shocking (plans with a girlfriend that is) she joined us for our dinner and it was yummy as always.
Rachel went to help out a cousin with her kids so that she could go out. She was home fairly early to join in on the movie that we watched which I don't remember. It's usually a chick-flick but it got them all sappy and not enjoying being single.

Sarah being single, she wasn't looking forward to the day but she too embraced it and is enjoying her single days. She however had plans and left that afternoon to head to Waco for the rest of the weekend. She went to see a GREAT, new friend, Anna. A precious, AMAZING young lady that did the internship at IHOP when Sarah did it so she wanted to share the "single awareness day" with her. Anna's guy friends wanted to bless some of their girl friends with an awesome dinner outside, to serve them and bless them. After the dinner the guys took the ladies to a house and had a couple of artist come and sketch pictures of all the ladies - Sarah's turned out amazing. She had a great time and was VERY blessed to be with some amazing people and she was SO excited to meet new friends. Here is a few pictures of Ms. Sarah on V-Day...
Sarah and Anna

Then there was Hannah. This was her and Austin's 1st Valentine Day together and Hannah's 1st V-day with a boyfriend so she was very excited. She had gone to get a new outfit so she was ready. Austin had a whole day planned to celebrate and it started early in the day with a trip to the zoo. Here is a pix. from the zoo.
After that they got ready to go out for the evening. Sushi and a movie!! They are SO CUTE! It was everything Hannah had hoped her 1st Valentine Day would be! Here are a couple of them dressed up for the evening.

And that is the end of another kind of silly holiday. I love that Ray does something special on that day but he does things like that SO MANY OTHER DAYS of the year!! Since we have 4 daughters he has always wanted to show them that this is how you should expect to be treated by your guy 1 day. It is up to them how they want to celebrate the day. But
Ray cherishing us girls is a great example of how you honor the women in your life.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

For and About ~ My ONE and ONLY~


This is a little recap of our love story.... I will write this because inevitably I write things that my girls say, I didn't know that. Then I will get to a love note to HIM, my PRINCE!

Today marks 26 years of being married to Ray. We are starting tomorrow on year 27!! WOW!! I have been married to him twice as long as I wasn't dating/married to him. Our journey started when I was 11 YEARS OLD!! He was almost 14 and he actually was IN LOVE with 1 of my older sisters. She was his age, they were in the 8th grade and he asked her to the homecoming game for our high school football team. He had been madly in love with Tricia for a good couple of years (who wasn't in love with her, sounds like someone else I know ; ) ). She had decided to go with him on the date and Ray and his Dad came to pick her up. They sat in the back seat and away they went. She was VERY mature for her age and not only was she mature but she was TALL. SO, being about a 1/2 a head taller then him - "she just wasn't in to him". She is amazing but she along with my other 4 older sisters usually dated OLDER guys so Ray and Tricia were really destined not to last. Well, when he brought her home he decided that he had 1 chance with the famous "Tricia Short" so we took a chance and made his move. Along with it being his 1st kiss it was also her 1st kiss!! HA!! The funniest thing was - she was SO much taller, that he had to stand on the curb to accomplish the deed, also he had hurt his arm so it was bandaged! OH MY!! Anyway, the relationship didn't go anywhere. But here is the pix. that slightly confused my children, "Is that Aunt Tricia"?
That is where I come in. After that football season basketball season started. Tricia was a cheerleader so we went to the basketball games and who do you think was on the 8th grade basketball team - RAY!! OH HOW CUTE HE WAS and IS!!! I was IN LOVE!!! I seriously can still remember the day that I saw him and feeling like I LOVE HIM!! It is funny to think of now. SO, here this 11 year old - almost 12, 6th grader is in love with this awesome, 1 of the most popular, athletes, ALL the girls liked him - GUY!! Here are some cool guy pix.

The only thing I probably had going for me was that I was a Short (my maiden name) and that I looked probably 16 when I was 12. SO, I went to ANY bb game that I could just to see him and I began to daydream. I daydreamed and prayed and confessed and believed that he would be MY husband. That last statement IS the TRUTH, that is EXACTLY what I did and believed. Well bb season came to an end and then shortly after that was the summer. Me being alot like my younger girls - I hung out with my older sisters, therefore I acted older and I indeed looked older. SO, this is where the 1st recollection that "The Ray Baker" noticed me. We were at Mustang Park near Crowley Texas where we grew up and I was in a black bikini (that's what he tells me because I don't remember this but those were the days). He saw me walking at the beach area there and he turned to his friend and asked who that was. His friend told him that I was Tricia's little sister - Ray quickly turned back to me and told his friend that he would MARRY ME!!! Well, being 12 and 14 1/2 there was NO cars involved so the only time that we saw each other was at school sports. BUT, he did begin to call me and our budding relationship started, we could talk FOREVER. That winter I had a school (at my ELEMENTARY!!!) carnival and he came with some of his COOL friends. Here enters in the 1st GIFT he got me. I of course STILL have it, it is a silver ID bracelet that they engraved right there and it says Merry Christmas and on the back it says, December 1976!! WOW!! That is A LONG TIME AGO!! So after that I began to babysit his nieces and nephews for his sisters. He has 6 sisters and 1 brother and him being the 7th - he had LOTS of nieces and nephews - SO, I became the babysitter for most of them. WELL, 1 night I was babysitting for 1 sister and conveniently Ray and his friend came over. His friend left and Ray stayed - probably not smart. After the kids went to bed we watched a movie - its OK people this is rated G!! Our 1st kiss happened that night - I WAS A BABY!! But anyway I knew NO BETTER - just a kiss though people. From that night on we were going steady, aaahhh. I got him - I got the best - my sister WAY missed out (she has an AMAZING husband too)!! Our dating went through me in Junior High and then I got to highschool with him and we were in HS together for 2 years. It was a BLAST!!! Here I am sitting on his knee - I was never taller then him, HA. I was probably 15 and Ray was 18.
Then I moved the summer before my Junior year to Arlington - Ray had graduated and he was living here and there. Then the summer that I turned 17, 17--OH MY GOSH!! We decided to get married! He was tired of taking me home - nothing spiritual, sorry. But I knew in my knower that he was my PRINCE!! So after my Mom went with us to get our marriage license to sign me away because I wasn't 18 - we got married!! A great wedding and reception & REALLY good pictures!! YAY!!! It was magical!! Here are a few pix. of the BIG DAY!!This is a picture when I was 18 - I think it looks like Sarah and Hannah - a mixture. Sarah CONSTANTLY puts her hand on her face like this!!

We were married for 2 1/2 years before Rachel was born. It has been the MOST WONDERFUL marriage I have ever known. He is TRULY, THE BEST HUSBAND in the WORLD!! We have NEVER had 1 time that we even had 1 tiny thought of not wanting to be married! We have had SO MUCH FUN together! We are really a perfect team. He is such a better person then I am - he is SO selfless, it puts me to shame. He is near perfection for sure!!

I will stop there and maybe some time I will pick the love story up from there. I am going to try to scan some pictures of us WAY BACK THEN - *I did it!

What I thought I would do is something that Ray did for me on our 15 anniversary - I will write 26 reasons I LOVE HIM!!!!

1. He LOVES the LORD our GOD with ALL his HEART, SOUL and MIND!!!
2. He seeks GOD for our FAMILY and he never stops PRAYING for us ALL!!!
3. He is THE Spiritual LEADER of our home and he is a husband and father that we can follow.
4. He is the BEST Daddy - I have found NO Dad that compares to him!
5. He is MY BEST FRIEND! There is NOBODY on this earth that I would rather go anywhere with, do anything with, experience anything new with!
6. He has the BEST character, the most AMAZING integrity and the strongest convictions!
7. He LOVES me with ALL HIS HEART!
8. He has a deep commitment to Our Marriage Covenant!
9. He brings such PEACE to ANY situation!
10. He is VERY HANDSOME, his smile MELTS my heart!! He FILLS our home with HUMOR!!
11. He is an AMAZING cook and he LOVES to serve his family! He is just a wonderful example of Jesus. He lays down his life for us.
12. He is a FANTASTIC example to our daughters of the man they should wait for and for Grant to strive to be!!
13. He has searched the Word of God and he ministers to our family DAILY!!
14. He LOVES adventure and is usually up for ANYTHING!
15. He is a MAN'S Man and he REALLY connects with women. I LOVE THAT!!
16. He is VERY handy - can pretty much fix anything!
17. He is such a servant to anyone that needs him - HE IS THERE!
18. He LOVES to be with ME! We can do ANYTHING and we just LOVE being together!!
19. He has patience like none other!! Especially with me, over the years.
20.He saw me through the Lord eyes when I wasn't such a prize.
21. He is a WONDERFUL provider and has worked 3 jobs in our marriage to provide and let me stay home.
22. He helped make 5 of the most AMAZING, WONDERFUL, INCREDIBLE people I know!! His genes w/ mine make REALLY PRETTY babies!!
23. He is an AMAZING example to so many young men that need a GODLY example in their relationships. I LOVE that!!
24. He humors me with being interested in ANYTHING that I am interested in. He REALLY does a good job at this!!
25. He has SO MANY more words then most men - we can seriously still talk ALL NIGHT LONG!!
25 1/2. He loves me NO MATTER what! He looks at me like I am that 17 year old he married.
26. He is the ONE and ONLY person that I CAN'T WAIT to grow old with!! I can't wait to be sitting with him and holding hands, talking about what the Lord is doing through our children and grandchildren (oh wow, that will be AWESOME) and really knowing what each other is thinking -- FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES!!!

I COULD go ON & ON & ON!! For REAL!!! He is such a MAN among MEN!! He is SO HUMBLE and doesn't take ANY credit for any of the above!

SO, as our Anniversary draws to an end we reflect on 26 years of serving the Lord side by side -- parenting our children and going through 5 PREGNANCIES! -- trying to do our best to be parents to children that have such DESTINY and PURPOSE! -- continually being used by the Lord, for HIS glory! -- and just enjoying this JOURNEY that we are ON TOGETHER!! We are SO not a glimmer of what we were 26 years ago (OH how thankful I am for that). I thank Ray for seeing something inside of me that gave him hope that someday I would turn out to be a good wife and the wife that he so deserved (it was touch and go at first). I told 1 of the girls today that my prayer for them is that the Lord brings them someone even 1/4 as amazing as their Dad is. Of course I really pray that their husbands are even more amazing then their Dad but that probably isn't possible - well after 26 years maybe. He has FOR SURE gotten better with time/wisdom/knowledge (don't we all)! We are EXCITED about the next 26 years! We have many more memories to look forward to - GRANDCHILDREN, I think we are most excited for!! He will be the BEST Pop! Seeing the call that the Lord has placed on our life as a couple and on our children - that will be exciting to see come to it's fullness. But in all of that we are just ready for tomorrow - the simple things of waking up and loving each other. Laughing through the "getting older" stuff - being there for eachother when 1 is up and the other could be down!! But I will stop for now.... Thank you Ray Baker for choosing ME! Me to be the LUCKIEST WOMEN IN THE WORLD!!! I will DIE never FULLY thinking I deserve you! You are MY HERO for sure!!! I love you more then words could EVER, EVER, EVER say!!!