Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Amazing Race

Here is a little video that some of us have come to love (and hate)

There are a ton of things that I am sure we could all say about this little video clip. Perhaps Gaylene would like to post some of her memories...

We hope you win Gaylene and Jaena!

Amazing Race Entry Video from grayman74


This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary. It is hard to believe that a whole year has passed, and yet, with the constantly changing events in our life that have taken place over the past year, it also feels as though we've always been together. Strange, huh? I had thought that I would do some lovey dovey stuff on here again about how much I love and appreciate my husband, but I got to thinking a little deeper this time (plus I know you all are probably still gagging from the "Valentine's Day" entries). You see, I've learned a few things about marriage. Unfortunately, I learned them the hard way, and as my son gets old enough to read what I have written there are a few things that I want him to know so that he can say that he learned them the easy way.

1. Marriage is about two people. Many girls spend their whole lives envisioning this fairy tale romance about the perfect guy coming in and sweeping her off her feet. He meets all of her needs and does everything just perfectly. He makes her so happy. That's a lovely dream, and it can become a reality, but there is one glaring flaw in the presentation. It's all about her. Her dreams. This one-sided marriage is truly perfect, but only in her mind. Because marriage is about two people. Ephesians 2:3 says, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." The success of the marriage does not hinge on whether or not my spouse is meeting my needs, but rather that I am meeting the needs of my spouse. It may look a lot the same, but there is a huge difference in focus. In my marriage the only thing that I need to be concentrating on is whether or not I am meeting Jeff's needs. (And I might point out that he should be doing the same regarding me). Boy, that's a far cry for the fairy tale romance isn't it? Yet it's biblical, and since God created marriage, He of all people should know the key to making it work.

2. In order to meet your spouse's needs, you must learn what those needs are. The idea here is that you learn your spouse. You become a student of him. You learn what gets him excited. This is not that hard to do. For instance, I know that my husband loves tools. It's not hard to see--he goes positively ape over tools. Over the course of this year I have tried to learn as much about his tools as I can, and I've tried to remember the names and the uses for the tools that he has pointed out to me. I have also learned that he likes to be touched. Jeff's primary love language is physical touch, and it doesn't really matter how I touch him, as long as I do. He particularly likes back rubs and head rubs. More subtly though, I've learned that he likes for me to read to him. We are currently reading one of my Zane Grey novels. Now, I don't really think that Jeff is enjoying the writing style of Zane Grey as much as he is listening to the sound of my voice as I read to him. Through this experience I've learned that his mother used to read to him all the time, and it was something that he equated with being loved, secure and totally in the center of his mother's attention. The things that your spouse is passionate about are there, but you need to learn what they are. I will say that I believe that this is an easier task for the wife than for the husband. By our very nature we are nurturers. We observe our children and assess what their needs are before they are even able to voice them. It makes us a little more intuitive, but it is not impossible for the husband to learn about his wife. It may take a little help, but the best thing a husband can do is sit down with his wife and say, "Honey, I want to know everything about you. I want to learn the ways that I can show love to you. Please tell me some ways that I can show you how much you mean to me." Get ready, guys, because you may be surprised at the answer. It may be as simple as telling her that you love her before you leave the house in the morning. It may mean giving of your time by helping with the dishes. It may be that she simply desires to be freed up for some time for herself--like taking the kids out of the house for a few hours so that she can either spend time in the bathtub or get caught up on some chores that have been hanging over her head for days. It may not make sense to you, but is that the point? Whatever she tells you, do it. And do it without being asked. Wives, if your husband is harder to read, then by all means sit down with him and discuss it. I truly believe that when you are busy meeting the needs of your spouse, you will have a lot less time to be worried about yourself.

3. This third one is really more for the wife. Girls--newsflash--your husband wants to have sex. Yes, I said sex on my publicly read blog. Sex to your husband is like sleeping and eating. It is a physical need that he has that is motivated by his love for you. He needs you. You would never purposely go for days and weeks without feeding him or letting him sleep, yet women all over America go for weeks, even months without having sex with their husbands. I confess that I was one of those wives. Instead of seeing what my husband needed from me, I made it all about what I wanted for myself. And if I thought that I wasn't getting what I wanted, then I withheld myself from him, telling myself that when he got up the gumption to figure out what made me happy, then I would have sex with him. It told myself that I wasn't able to have sex with him because he wasn't meeting my emotional needs. I have learned that excuse is really from the pit of hell. I don't say this lightly. I say it from the bottom of a heart that has been truly broken by the man I loved. Meeting the sexual needs of my spouse is a choice. Is it an easier choice when he has pushed all the right "buttons" for me emotionally? Sure. But it's still a choice. What is the choice? Well, you can either willingly and eagerly meet your husband's sexual needs and enjoy a tremendously fulfilling, close relationship with him, or you can leave him open to the enticement and allurement of a world that is only too happy to fill your shoes for you. In your defense I will say that most men could learn a thing or two about meeting the emotional needs of their wives before they hit the bedroom, but women just need to get over it. Or they need to start communicating to their husbands exactly what will help them "get in the mood". I am blessed to have a husband who will go out of his way to make our relationship be the best that it can be, but even on those rare occasions when I just think that I can't do it, I remember what he faces every day while he is away from me and it motivates me to make sure that when he leaves the house that morning, he is watching the clock until he can get back home to me. It is a way to protect him. I will go one step further and say, to withhold yourself physically from your spouse at any time, unless mutually agreed upon, is just plain old WRONG. To use sex to get your husband to take out the trash is wrong. To manipulate him into meeting a need in your life is wrong. And to make him go without it for long periods of time when you haven't openly discussed it and mutually agreed to it is wrong. Please, please hear me when I say that your husband will only try to get your attention for so long. One day he will stop asking. And on a day not too far distant from that one you may find yourself watching your husband coldly divide your life into "his" and "hers" and back a moving van up to your house. I am not saying that if that happens it is all your fault. He has choices to make as well. He can choose to love you and honor the committment that he has made to you no matter what your response is (Eph. 2:3 again). He can do all that he can to communicate with you and guard himself from the world. But why make his job that hard? You love him already, show him that you love him by reverencing him.

I hope one day that Jack's fiance and I will be able to sit down and have this little chat and more. It's only three points, but they are huge. I by no means profess to be perfect in any of these areas, but I think that at least knowing that these things exist and are very real in my marriage has given Jeff and I a much deeper understanding and a bond that I never dreamed was possible. My only goal in sharing this publicly is that it might somehow help someone else like me to truly have the love of my life beside me, sharing in the joy of raising our sons and daughter, and looking forward to the years ahead, not with despair, but with anticipation.

Additional Note: I do not in any way mean to minimize the pain and rejection that many women go through when their husbands do not take the time to meet their emotional needs. I know only too well that the hurt stemming from a husband who does not make his wife a priority in his life can greatly impact the desire to make the right choices. But you can still reverence your husband and pray diligently and communicate, communicate, communicate with him. Some men need the proverbial "2 x 4" over the head. Oh, don't get offended, guys. You know it's true.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Come on and post!

Go ahead!

It's easier now...

Use an alias if you wish..

We won't steal your credit card info, format your hard drive, or anything else nasty

You don't even have to be a registered user!

It's easy!

We'd like to hear from you!

by Jeff

p.s. Terry - you could reminisce about trying to get me to accept a "Free" window (forcibly with the sheriffs help) or me breaking your foot!

Thursday, February 23, 2006


This past weekend we took Jack down to Henderson, KY for his first visit with the great grandparents. It was a really great visit with them, and very special, since we don't know how many more visits we will have with them. The trip down to Henderson was half great--the half that Jack was asleep! This is the first time that we have tried to take him on a "long distance" ride. It takes about 4 hours to get there. Before that we had an appointment in Kokomo, so he was in the car for a long time. Half way there we decided to stop and walk around a bit, take him out of the carseat, and feed him. We realized afterward that we should have just kept on going as far as we could, because once we had him OUT of the carseat and awake, he certainly did not want to go back IN. He screamed the rest of the way there. We stayed in a nice hotel and he really did pretty well sleeping in a different place. We got smart on the way back and left when it was time for him to go to bed for the night. He slept all the way home, and then went right to bed as soon as we got home. All in all, it was a pretty successful weekend, and I think we're going to try it again next weekend, only this time going 4 hours north! Here are some of my favorite pictures of the weekend.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Little Behind

I am happy to share with you, on the date that Jack turns 3 months old, the pictures that were taken at the studio when he was 2 months old! Hey--I've been busy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A nother word from big sissy

hello to day reminded me about the time I was playing with dead grass. It all started when I was 6 or 7 years old, dad was at work, my mom was cleaning the kitchen and Bryan was with me. I had a bowl and filled it with only dry grass, I thought. But here I was minding my own bissness and Bryan thoght of a idea. Well the idea was to poor the dead grass on top of me. So I did. A big black and white snake fell on me! I yelled and ran to the front porch. Mom came out and said it was a garden snake. After that I never played with dead grass again!
I hope Jack wont ether! it scared me to daeth!

Anne on the big tractor July 2003 (attempting to kill snakes)

In His Own Words....

Ladies and gentlemen... We have been long waiting for my son Bryan to say something publicly on the blog - at long last he has broken his silence.

Author and renowned fortbuilder, Bryan Gray

Hi my name is Bryan Gray. I am the son of Jeff Gray and Betty Gray. My little brother is Jack Jack. I have brown hair and eyes. I have a sister too.

I'll add more later

(By Bryan 2/20/06)

"Talky Jack"

Here is a little video of Jack that was taken today. Betty insists that he is saying "wow" but I think it sounds a lot like he is saying "daddy" What do you think?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Happy Valentines Day back to you!

Hey there little guy!

Your mommy is really wonderful. Did you know that?

Mommy is right – we do love each other very very much!

I just wanted to write down for you (and for Mommy) some of the reasons that I love Betty Rie' (your mommy) so very very much!

I love Mommy because….
• She loves little Jack soooo much!
• She loves Anne & Bryan too!
• She wasn’t afraid to tell me that she liked me
• She is totally satisfied just to be with me – nothing else, she just wants me!!
• She appreciates everything that I do for her, even when it is something that she deserves she acts like it is the kindest thing that I could do for her.
• She loves me with all her heart
• She cooks REALLY GOOD FOOD for me!
• She has a beautiful voice
• She plays the piano
• She calls me tiger
• She helps me wake up in the morning
• She is my biggest cheerleader
• She is a good friend to me, as well as to her friends
• She rubs my back when we go to sleep
• She cuddles up next to me in bed and holds onto me
• She isn’t embarrassed by me being a big kid and having fun
• She agrees that Mr. Clothier cries the loudest of all my friends (when we wrestle)
• She goes out of her way to be friends with people that I am friends with
• She gets along with everyone
• She forgives me when I do something wrong (yes your dad can be insensitive at times)
• She sends nice notes to my family
• She doesn’t mind my snoring (I don’t mind hers either)
• She will watch a totally stupid movie just because I like it
• She eats lunch with me every day that she possibly can (you eat lunch with me too)
• She likes my truck
• She thinks I am attractive!
• She likes to sleep with the window open in the winter!
• She trusts me
• She is a computer geek too!
• She likes to ride four wheelers with me!
• She will follow my lead even if she doesn’t agree with me
• She takes good care of our house
• She mows the yard (when being pregnant didn’t stop her)
• She makes sure that I don’t dress like a dork
• She takes good care of me
• She makes me want to be a better man

Well little Jack…. I really do love your mommy.. I tell her a lot, but no matter how many times I say it I still need to say it more. I love you Betty Rie. You are my best friend, I can’t wait to hold you in my arms again!

Jeffie ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I Love Daddy

Happy Valentine's Day, Jack! Today I thought that I would tell you all the things that I love about Daddy. You should know that daddy and I are in love with each other and we always will be. For us, there is no such word as divorce, and there is no problem so big that it can't be solved with God's help. You will grow up in a home where your parents love you and love each other. In this world that is a very rare thing, but entirely possible when two people (like mommy and daddy) commit to love each other "til death parts us".

I Love Daddy because........
He loved me first
He is big and strong
He has wonderful hands that know how to make stuff
He is incredibly smart
He likes movies and computers
He likes to get dirty outside in his shop, in the yard, on the tractor, etc., etc.
He has four wheelers
He gave me my own four wheeler and taught me how to ride it
He gave me his car with the kick butt stereo in it
He likes my cooking
He likes to go out to eat
He likes to order in, too
He can pick me up and carry me around
He takes care of me when I'm sick and brings me medicine
He buys me Pecan Mudslides from Dairy Queen
He takes me to church and prays with me
He sings with me in the car when you're crying
He prays for me when I'm really sick
He laughs at me when I'm funny (and when I'm not)
He puts gas in my car
He loves to be with me
He would rather spend time with me than watch a movie or play with his computer
He lets me move the furniture any way that I like
He has a contagious laugh
He has a very big heart
He always does stuff for other people, often at the expense of his own free time
He likes to buy things for people
He is a good friend
He calls me "kitten"
He provides us with a beautiful home
He is crazy about you
He helps me take care of you
He holds me when I cry
He loves to kiss me and hold me
He touches my face and looks into my eyes
He tells me that I'm "hot"
He tells me when I look nice (which is all the time, no matter what)
He loves to lay in bed and listen to the rain through the open window

These are just a few things about daddy that I love. There are so many more, but there's not enough time to tell them. Lastly, the reason I love daddy so very much is because he gave me you!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Look, Ma! No Hands!

Lookin' good....

As the drool drops, the unsuspecting baby has no idea of the impending doom.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Just Growin'

Look at me playing with my new rattle!

It's been a while since I posted, mostly because every day with Jack is a full one! He still refuses to take naps during the daytime, and cries if I put him down, so most of the day is filled with rocking, walking, jiggling, holding, feeding, changing, and, you get the picture. Sometimes we get in the car and drive to town. I found a new little coffee shop in the town where Jeffrey works, so I like to go there and get a cup of joe and play with little Jack. He's growing every day and getting cuter and cuter (sorry, I mean, more cute). He's doing better every day with crying and eating and we're just happy going through our days together. They are very full and I don't always get to the computer when I want to, but we love our "fans" and don't want to lose you, so hang on, and I'm sure Jack will do something extraordinary that I'll just have to write about!