Showing posts from 2016


We all know that Christmas is about the birth of Christ and when you think about it's only fitting  that in just a few days  we will celebrate the coming of a new year.

My friend always uses the example of a dog walking up out of a pond.

You know what she means, you've seen it, they come up out of the pond and they start shaking all that old water off.

Do you know how many times putting off the old or being made new, or starting over is mentioned in the Bible?

Neither do I.

But I know it's a lot.

I'll list just a few so that you get the idea.

Ezekiel 36:26  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here.

Ephesians 4:24 To be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self.

Don't we all want a new start?

Don't we want the chance feel clean and fresh?

Have you ever wanted to do like that old dog and just step out  and shak…

Cookie Baking Tips

You all are just the sweetest!

Even when I post a picture of a sheet of burned to a crisp cookies you still message me with cookie baking questions.

Thank you for having mercy on me and believing in me.

This will be a simple list of cookie baking tips.

Accurate measurements are a must!

Don't guess or hurry.

To much flour will make the cookies dry.

Use the correct ingredients.

Most cookie recipes call for all purpose flour, even if it doesn't say that unless it says otherwise that's what it usually means.

If it calls for softened butter, then soften it.

The best way to do that is to set the butter out several hours before you are going to make the cookies. You can soften it in the microwave but remember, it calls for softened butter, not melty butter, so be careful.

When the recipe says, cream until light and fluffy, that's what it means, it will make a difference in the end product.

It's going to take longer than you think.

Several minutes, keep  mixing and you wil…

How to Help Yourself and Your Children Find Christ in Christmas

If you are looking for something fun to do with your kids or grandkids this Christmas or if you are wanting to find a way  to keep the real meaning of Christmas, then go get your Bible.

God has given us a whole bunch of examples of things we can do and learn.

Open your Bible to the Christmas Story, you will find it in Matthew and Luke.

The Christmas story is full of angels.

Make angle cookies, make paper angels.

Find scriptures about angels.

Did you know that contrary to what people say, we don't become angels when we die?

God created the angels and he created men, we are two different creations.

There was a bright light that shone around the angels when Jesus was born.

Jesus is called the light of the world.

Shut all the lights off in the house and talk about how dark it is.

Have the kids try and do something that would be easy to do in the light but difficult in the dark.

Then turn on the light, they will see how much easier life is when we walk in the light.

When we can see we …

Ten Words Every Child or Spouse or Friend Needs to Hear

Parenting is the easiest job in the world, it's a no brainer, you know exactly what to do.....and then you become a parent.

Suddenly all that stuff you knew, you forget.

Or, you find out it's hard to carry through with it even if it is the right thing to do.

 When you were thinking about it before you had a child, it was easy to be tough or soft or say it just right. But now, now there is a real child and they're part of you and it's not so easy anymore.

Fred A. Hartley has a wonderful thought on raising kids.

The great thing is, it works even after they have been raised, you know that time of life when you see what all you did wrong.

This idea will even work in your marriage relationship, it works with co-workers and church friends and neighbors, well it just plain works with every relationship you have.

It works because it reaches out to us in the perfect way, it reaches a deep need that each of us has.

The idea didn't originate with Fred, he got it from God, the…

Grandma Money's Orange Slice Cake

Here's the recipe for Grandma Money's Orange Slice Cake.
This is a heavy cake, it has a fruit cake type texture only it's better.

I really do think if you like orange slice candy you will like this cake.

Make sure you grease and flour your tube pan really really well or you will have a terrible time getting it out of the pan, ask me how I know?

You might even take to making it in an angel food cake pan, sometimes it's easier to handle than a tube pan, especially a fluted tube pan.

The original recipe calls for letting it set in the fridge overnight before you serve it, Grandma said a week or more.

To my way of thinking she is right, it only improves with time.

So are you ready?  Here we go.

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 lb. orange slice candy, chopped, buy more for the eating you will need to do while chopping.
1 (8 oz.) chopped dates, pitted
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 can flaked coconut, you can used bagged, I did.
1 cup butter, real butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp so…

Chicken Pot Pie

I found this recipe in an old USDA cookbook.

It was old when I got it, or it looked old anyway and that's been 25 years or more ago so now it's really old.

I saw this recipe and tried it, and it's always been my favorite ever since.

Mark's mom, makes this now too and she sometimes makes it ahead and freezes it and takes it out as she needs it.

I never do that because we always want it right now but it's a good idea and one you might want to try.

So here's the recipe.

Chicken Pot Pie

3 TBSP. butter, always use real butter, salted real butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk, (sometimes if I've got it I'll use half and half)
1 1/2 salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 3/4 cooked carrots, peas and potatoes
1 unbaked pie crust, top and bottom crust

Melt butter, stir in flour, salt and pepper, add broth and milk, stirring constantly until it bubbles and thickens.
Add well drained chicken and veg. Pour into a lin…

Married Names...They Matter

Olivia was talking about getting her name changed now that she is married.

You know what,  there is a lot to that, and I don't just mean a lot of red tape I mean there is a lot of meaning and honor to it.

This isn't a post about the right or the wrong of changing your name when you are  married it's just my take on it.

A name is a  huge thing.

I mean look at all the time and thought people put into picking a name for their child.

Last names mean a lot too.

We all know the thoughts we have when we hear someone's last name.

An image, good or bad comes to our mind.

We wonder if they are related to the Gray's that we know,  and so we say, who are your parents or we say are you related, to Mark or Kelly or whoever?

Whenever Mark does a wedding ceremony he always  mentions the fact that the groom is giving his bride his name.

He says it's one of the greatest things he can offer her.

Isn't that so true?

Your name is one of the most valuable things you own and to t…

Cooperation and Compromise Are Good But Don't Forget Obedience

Cooperation is a good thing.

We all need to know how to cooperate.

Parents and teachers are told not to work on teaching children to obey, but rather they should teach them to cooperate.

Bosses are told not to expect employees to do what they are told but work on getting them to cooperate on the job.

There is truth to some of that.

It can make things go easier.

The problem is as,  people we have that terrible habit of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

We will hear a thought like that and run with it,  forgetting all the truth that has to be added in with it.

Obedience is becoming a days gone by word.

It seems like a small thing.... but everyone needs to learn to obey,  sometimes it isn't about rather we want to cooperate or not.

You see, sometimes getting someone to cooperate leads to compromise

Now compromise is another good word, we need it but not at the cost of forgetting obedience..

Obedience can be used in a wrong way,   but I'm not talking about the wrong way, …

When There Is Just No Way to Understand

What do we do when we just can't understand?

When things  make no sense and there is no way it can be alright what do we do?

Many of us are asking that and it's not the first time we've asked it.

We've had times like this before, times when something so bad happens that we question all we know. or thought we knew.

We can look at the facts.

The facts are God created the earth and all that's in it.

He made man and he wanted things to be perfect for him so he put him in paradise.

God loved the people he made, and he wanted them to love him in return, not a robot, they had no choice type of love, but a real because they wanted to kind of love.

So while he did put them in a perfect world, a world with no disease, no dying, no tragic death or prolonged illness, no abandoned children or abused wives or left husbands, the potential for all those things existed.

As you can imagine this paradise was filled with trees of every kind.

God told Adam he was free to eat from any t…

Help! How Do I Teach My Child To Be Quiet and Still When Need Be?

I get asked questions about how to help children learn to sit still at church, weddings, funerals, meetings or maybe even a doctors office.

Well, as you know I don't have all the answers, I never went to school and learned child psychology or anything like that but I did listen to what a lot of older women said and I did do a lot of what my mom did.

So with that in mind I'll share a few of my thoughts and maybe a couple of them will help you out.

First of all we all know that what goes on at home goes on everywhere else.

If your children are out of control at home, don't expect anything different when you go out.

But our goal today is just a few ideas to help them sit for a little bit when they need to.

Start by making sure you have some quiet time at home each day, and that happens best when you can have a quiet spirit yourself, our kids feed on what we give out.

What I mean by quiet time is no tv, no computer or cell phone. don't have anything but you, them and your…

Teaching Diligence, Doing It Wrong But Them Getting It Right

When the kids were young and they would get something wrong, or give up to quick, Mark would say, "You gotta think, life is a thinking process."

Now when and if my kids read this they are going to have  a negative feeling shoot through them.

They hated it when he said that, they still hate it.

Mark wasn't quick to help the kids when they were trying to do something, I on the other hand was to quick.

But Mark left them to figure it out.

Looking back, we know he did that to much, it can provoke and discourage a child but thankfully it can also make them strong and determined.

I was to quick to accept whatever they did and that can lead to shoddy work.

You can see how both could lead to problems.

As with so many of our parenting mistakes, God steps in and fixes up what we mess up.

Because of his great grace and mercy and because of his promises he takes what could have been not so good and he brings good from it.

We have to decide to let him do that, we have to decide to we…

Too Many Toys and To Many Meal Time Troubles

We've all heard the saying, "One thing leads to another."

Well, that must be true because one blog post or one story in a book, is leading to another one.

A new blog post about toys.

Now granted, I'm an old mom, I'm such an old mom that I'm a grandmom.

The good thing is, kids are pretty much made up in the very same way they were made up when I was a young mom.

The blood work or DNA of my kids would be the same of a kid today.

So what's changed?

We have changed?

We've changed.

Some of it is for the better and I think we need to embrace that.

Ezra will get my tablet and he knows how to slide his finger across it so he can see the pictures.

 That's great, I enjoy that.

He knows all about phones and that's okay too.

Like it or not it's where we live and they need to know those things.

They need to be comfortable with them.

So by all means get them some computerized, stuff at an early age.

It's important.

At the same time don't forget …

Fish and Wild Game Wife.... I'm Not

I wish I was the kind of wife that got excited when her husband got a deer, or a squirrel or a mess of fish.

I wish I was the kind that got all proud and excited about what ,my man had done.

But I don't.

I want to.

I would even like to be the kind of wife that wanted to hunt or fish with him....but I don't.

So each night when he brings fish into the condo to clean them, inside I hate it.

Oh I look at them and say how nice it is but inside I'm thinking.....really?

I mean here we are at the ocean...we have a seafood restaurant  on every corner and  yet he has to catch fish,

There are fish markets everywhere, places where you go buy the do that so your wife doesn't look in the sink and find fish heads in it,

But...I'm not that kind of wife..

I like my fish with no bones and I like someone else to fry it. Or bake it or broil it and most importantly, I want the fish heads to be in someone else's  sink.

But...that's not to be, so I fried fish tonight…

Apple Pie the Gray Way

Apple Pie is another one of those fall desserts we all love.

I had my Grandma Marshall's Apple Pie Recipe and my Aunt Daisy Marshall's Apple Pie recipe so I took them and sort of put them together and came up with this Kelly Gray Apple Pie recipe and I've been making it for years.

It's very simple, nothing fancy but when you have something as good as apples, cinnamon and sugar who needs fancy?

I shred my apples, that's the way my family likes it, but you can slice the apples real thinly if you like that better.

This is Lucas' favorite pie and what he asks for on his birthday.

So let's get started.

You're going to need:

6 Granny Smith Apples or any good tart apple
2 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, (I always use real butter, sweet cream, salted real butter)
3 Tbsp. cream or half and half will do

Peel and shred or slice the apples and put them in a bowl

Next, Mix the flour, sug…

Grandchildren, the Apple of Our Eyes

I've decided grandchildren are the best thing in the world to teach us about the grace of God.

Or maybe they are just what I needed to learn the grace of God.

Everyone tells you, "Oh you just can't know until you have one of your own."

Well.....they are right.

When I became a mother, I mean I became a mother.

I was all in, and I love my kids like a don't even know how to tell you.

I said, I never even knew what love was until I had them.

That all consuming, die in an instant without question for them kind of love.

Along with that love came a responsibility.

I can remember lying there in the hospital bed after Heidi was born and they placed her in my arms and I had two thoughts.

First, I thought, oh no she is a girl and that means she is going to have to do this one day.

I guess I thought that because the experience was still so fresh.

Next I looked down at her and thought, "I've got to be everything to her my mom was to me."
How was I gonna do that…

Pastor Appreciation Month, It's Not An Easy Job, Let Them Know You Care

October is Pastor Appreciation Month so if you have a pastor, be sure and let him know you appreciate him.

While you're at it let his whole family know what they mean to you.

No one knows how hard it is to pastor until you do it.

I remember when I used to think they worked only on Sunday.

They work more hours than you will ever know.

They have someone on their heart all the time.

They teach and train.

They  love, encourage and rebuke.

People will come to the church because they preach there, and people will leave the church because they preach there.

Sometimes they call and check on an absent member and the member is touched and feels cared about.

Sometimes they call and the member may feel like they are being hounded.

Sometimes he won't call for fear they will feel hounded and then they are mad and say no one cares.

He knows more about the congregation than he even knows what to do with.

He can never tell what he knows so he carries it with him.

He stands there and listens wh…

What Do You Mean Remove Myself?

I'm having so much fun hearing from so many of you.

I love hearing what your favorite part of the book is.

Waitin on a Farmer and So You Want to Date A Farmer, seem to be ringing  a lot of bells.

But by far the most common thing people are saying to me is, "Remove Yourself From Yourself"

I love that because it's my favorite line too.

You have no idea how often I do that.

My life has became so much easier since I remove myself so often.

I don't mean I stick my head in the sand, or that I don't deal with things, I mean I have learned to be slower to act and to try to see things differently.

One way it's helped is..... I don't get as mad at Mark.

Now days I almost always, not always, but almost always,  stop and try to remove myself from myself, I pretend I'm not me... but that I'm watching what's going on as if I were someone else.... and you know what I've found out?

Mark isn't always wrong.

Sometimes when I remove myself I see a lo…

No Matter What the Debate Sounded Like, All Is Not Lost

Sometimes when we read the Bible we feel distant from it.

It seems like it's for someone else, like it doesn't really apply to us personally.

Tonight I was reminded of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

You might not recognize  that reference, but you will when I tell you what it says,

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and heal their land."

We hear this verse all the time.

It's all over facebook.

It's the Word of God and it's truth.

The thing is though before this particular truth can be realized in the land it has to realized individually.

We will never be a land of humble people turning from the wickedness of our ways until we are individuals turning from our wicked ways.

We won't be a forgiven nation of God's people until we become forgiven individuals.

2 Chronicles is a pretty sounding verse.

It gives us comfort …

Home Help in a Nutshell

When it comes to homemaking or being a wife or being a mother we're always looking for answers.

We buy books, read blogs, talk to friends, watch tv shows all in an attempt to find encouragement and strength for the job.

There's nothing wrong with that, over the last four weeks we've been in a study about the Proverbs 31 Women and as only God could do he has delivered all of the help we need in 31 short verses.

The chapter starts out with King Lemuel, believed to be King Solomon, telling us what his mother told him about being a King, the kind of man she said he would need to be, then it continues in verse 10 with her instruction about the kind of wife he should chose.

Verse 10 says, "A wife of noble character who can find?"

She is a rare thing.

What does it take to be a wife of noble character, do you have it in you?

I think you do....listen to what God says it takes.

He said we should live in such a way that our husbands have full confidence in us.
They can trus…

We all have it.

Even a show of confidence is often a cover up for insecurity.

It started back in the Garden of Eden.

Eve was perfect, she was exactly, on point everything God had intended for her to be.

Then Satan moved in.

Have you ever thought about what he said to her?

In Genesis 3:5 he said,  "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

He compared her to someone and she came up lacking.

There was someone that had something she didn't have.

There was someone who was more than her.

She wanted what they had.

So she became dissatisfied with who she was and she reached out and took the fruit in an attempt to be like someone else.

You know the rest of the story.

Her life would never be the same, the world would never be the same.

The insecurity curse is still as alive and active today, as it was then and we still fall into its clutches, as easily as Eve did.

I struggle with it all the time.

If I Had Known Peace Was This Good, I Would Have Been Quiet Years Ago

You know  the saying,"If I would have known having grandkids was this much fun I would have had them first"?

Well I think we need a saying sort of like that to apply to marriage, I don't know maybe something like, "If I had known peace was this good I would have been quiet years ago."

You all might be a lot nicer, humbler, kinder people than Mark and I because we've  had to learn how to be quiet, and I'm just now really getting it.

Tuesday night at Bible study we were talking about marriage and I shared how that very day, Mark and I had been working together.

I had sweat running down my face and burning my eyes, it wasn't fun.

Then Mark said, "Make sure you get all the feed out of the trays because it will draw mice if you don't."

He has been telling me that same thing for twenty years, you would think he would stop saying it, but he doesn't.

Years ago it flew all over me when he said that, not so much that he said it was that he k…

Then I Thought of God and Forgot About Myself

I can't believe it!

On September 22, I will have been blogging for four years.

How can that be?

I remember when I first got on facebook.

I struggled along trying to figure it out and made my kids a nervous wreck, they never knew what mom might accidentally do, or flat out  say on purpose.

I didn't really know what you were supposed to post so I just started posting whatever was going on at our place.

I just told you about it like you were one of us, I didn't know what else to do.

Then people started telling me they liked it.

They started telling me to start a blog, I thought...what they are really saying is, "Will you get off of facebook and go blog somewhere! "

So one evening Lucas and Tim sat down and set up my blog and as they say, the rest is history.

And history it is because things have changed.

Nothing is the same.

When I started blogging I had something to tell almost every minute of everyday.

The house was full of kids, ours and other kids.

Funny things…