Next to the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, my family is the greatest gift God has given me. I love them so much! I am so thankful to God for them! I consider being a mom the most sacred, precious gift God has blessed me with in this life. Being a “nana” to four grandchildren (soon to be five!) is the cherry on top!
Below is a picture of Ray and me, that I think is a good one. We’ve been married for 25 years, We were friends six months, and then dated six months before marrying.
Ray is a critical care paramedic and EMT instructor at the local hospital. Ray was in the Navy for 14 years specializing as a Navy combat medic, and has worked as a paramedic, a fireman and fire chief, a policeman and police chief, and a SWAT team medic throughout our marriage.
He is also a licensed minister. Ray has been on mission trips to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti five times to help Pastor Jay Threadgill with Fishers of Men Ministry. Ray provided security training for pastor Jay Threadgill’s bodyguards and set up an advanced medical clinic for over one month, treating 200 to 300 patients a day, after the Haiti 7.1 earthquake in January 2010. He is a modern day hero for this incredible work and in his paramedic job that he has done for over 25 years. Ray has saved many lives as a medic. He is now pursuing a career as an RN.
I drive Ray crazy, but he is still with me after 26 years! What a guy! He will probably get a big reward in heaven just for putting up with me so long!
Our oldest daughter, grown and on her own as a single mom after a painful divorce, is beautiful Heather. She is one of my best friends and “my special present from God.” Heather is a customer services rep for a corporation, earned a college associates degree in business management, while working full-time and taking care of her two beautiful daughters–don’t know how but by the grace of God! She loves Jesus, her family and friends, having fun, and traveling. She’s a runner and has ran numerous 5K’s.
We began homeschooling her in her 10th grade year of school, she graduated in 2000, and she went on to graduate from Youth With a Mission (YWAM) missionary training school, going on month long mission trips stateside and to South America and India. After graduation, she went on mission trips to Mexico, Nashville, TN to help flood victims, and Joplin, MO to aid tornado victims.
She is praying to go to Africa for a missions trip one day. She has a big heart for women and children in the bondage of human trafficking, and wants to own a house of hope one day for them, rescuing them, leading them to Jesus, educating them, and finding them homes.
Heather is such a beautiful person, inside and out. Outgoing, funny, and loving, she’s a great mom and a friend to all. Her passion is traveling and hanging out with her girls and friends. When not working at her two jobs and being on the go (which she often is), she enjoys watching her “shows” on TV, like Dancing With The Stars, Chicago Fire, and the Kansas City Royals play baseball!
Heather’s daughters Annabelle and Violet are our precious granddaughters. They are funny, full of energy, love to dance, play, color, run, and laugh, and are my joy! Annabelle plays the violin and Violet plays the trumpet, and they both sing in orchestra at school. They call me “Nana” and make me laugh a lot.
Our middle beautiful daughter (also grown and married) Eden is my stepdaughter and is my “bonus daughter” from God. Born a blonde, Eden constantly colors her hair, recently even a vibrant purple! Frequently coloring her hair different colors is just part of Eden’s personality, her own “brand.”
She is extremely creative and artistic, hilarious, sings beautifully, loves God and her friends, and enjoys most of all to talk a lot, laugh, and have fun. Her favorite job was working at a bakery making cupcakes, and her dream is to have her own cupcake business one day. Her husband Craig is originally from London, England, is patient and a good father, and loves playing video games.
Below Eden is pictured with her husband Craig, their baby girl Piper, and Eden’s son Jacob. Jacob loves Captain America, playing with trucks and making loud noises! Little red-headed Piper is adorable laughing, clapping her hands, and learning to talk now. She brings Craig, Eden, and our whole family joy. Craig and Eden are now expecting another baby, and we’re looking forward to growing our family!
Beautiful Leah is our youngest daughter and is so precious, a gift I don’t deserve from God. Leah is an amazing violinist and self-taught artist. She loves God and her family, her friends, her graphic art tablet, and her iPhone. I love looking at her anointed art that she draws and hearing her play on the violin: Pachelbel Cannon in D, hymns, Irish jigs, and contemporary songs.
She’s also teaching herself to play the mandolin, guitar, and piano keyboard. Her passions are music, art, nature, animals, reading fiction, and watching sci-fi movies with Ray. She loves hanging out with her friends on the weekend, when she’s not working or helping Heather to babysit her kids.
Where did the time go? She’s now beginning to experiment a little with makeup, has her first job as a cashier at a grocery store, and has been taking other giant steps of faith toward adult independence this year.
My younger sister Maria is one of my best friends. I don’t know what I’d do without my sweet sister! She lives in Georgia, where I was born and raised, and I miss her terribly. She works full-time as a mental health worker/counselor, while raising her three children. Beautiful, hilarious, wise, merciful, and a great mom, I admire her so much and wish I was more like her. (Ray also wishes I could cook cubed steak and other southern dishes like she can!)
Maria took care of her kids, worked full-time, and went to college full-time studying psychology and social work, making Dean’s List while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree. Then she earned her Master’s Degree! Don’t know how she did it all! We are extremely close. I often write her book-long letters, drawing funny cartoon stick figures about my family’s life, and she calls me when her kids are really driving her crazy. We tell each other everything. I’m so thankful for her.
Here are Maria’s three kids Brandon, Katie, and Nicholas. They are REALLY LOUD and high energy and about drive my sister bonkers (and me, when I visit them!), but are funny, smart, great kids! I love and miss them so much! I wish we lived closer together.
These are my precious, closest family members. Hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me and my loved ones a little better!