Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
We have been in the new house since the first week of May, but we're still moving in...
Felicity is *this close* to crawling...
The kids are great...
My camera is broke :(
That's about it. ;)
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Search for a Godly Spouse Part One
Search for a Godly Spouse Part Two
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Dear Mrs. Ethridge,
Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns over new regulatory changes being implemented by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). I have been an outspoken critic of many of these changes as they are both unnecessarily burdensome and overreaching. I appreciate having your input on the issue.
As you are undoubtedly aware, the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 was hastily passed through Congress and signed into law last fall in response to a lead paint scare involving children's toys manufactured in China. Unfortunately, the law places unnecessary burdens on domestic producers requiring onerous testing for lead and other toxic substances for any products geared towards children age 12 and under. It is disappointing that Congress did not see fit to pass a law that protected children from lead in a way that did not threaten so many businesses.
Because of the new regulations which take effect today, small businesses across the country may be forced to close their doors or drastically increase their production costs in order to comply with CPSC guidelines. This foreseeable consequence was one of the main reasons for my opposition to the CPSIA last year. In the current economic climate it is imperative that the government protect individual ingenuity and hard work and not over-regulate the backbone of American enterprise, small businesses.
In response to this reactionary policy I have introduced S.374, a bill to amend the Consumer Product Safety Act to provide regulatory relief to small and family-owned businesses. This bill will help minimize the negative impacts of these new regulations through the following six major reforms:
1.Delay the overreaching regulations six months so that all parties can work together to address the needs of our small businesses and the needs of product safety.
2.Allow small manufacturers to use the testing and certification that their component suppliers have done to certify that the components do not contain an impermissible amount of lead. This will save small manufacturers from having to subject their products -- many of which are made in small runs -- to duplicative and expensive multi-thousand dollar tests.
3.Exempt thrift stores, yard sales, consignments shops and other re-sellers from the prohibitions in the act. Goodwill, the Salvation Army and your local flea market were never the source of the product safety concerns encountered last year, and they won't be in the future. They are good actors trying to provide Americans of modest means with value oriented products. They shouldn't be subjected to tens of thousands of dollars in potential liability.
4.Prevent retro-active enforcement of the act. There are millions of dollars of safe products in the warehouses and stores around the country today, which could become un-sellable under CPSIA. This will prevent thousands of products from being destroyed and the livelihood of thousands of businesses from being threatened.
5.Provide a Good-Faith Exemption. The act and its associated regulations are extremely complex. Small manufacturers are having difficulty understanding what the act requires of them. While many small businesses are doing their best to comply with the act it's possible someone could accidentally run afoul of the act. If they can show that their error was made in good-faith, my bill will provide them with a one-time exemption from sanction.
6.Requires the CPSC to provide small businesses with a compliance guide. This is an extremely technical regulation that impacts a number of small businesses who don't have large compliance departments to decipher the regulations for them. Senator DeMint's bill would require the CPSC, in consultation with the state and federal small business agencies, to develop a compliance guide that addresses the concerns of the small business community.
Currently, S.374 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of which I am a member. I look forward to soliciting support for these changes from my colleagues on the committee and will continue to push for common-sense policies addressing product regulation. While I was hopeful that Democratic leadership would have worked with me to enact this change in law last week before the deadline, I will continue to work to improve this law so that business can get out from under these onerous regulations. I look forward to enacting a solution that protects both children and family businesses.
Again, thank you for contacting me to express your thoughts and concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future with any issues important to you or your family. It is an honor to serve you and the people of South Carolina.
United States Senator
Monday, January 26, 2009
Here are some photos to make up for my lack of posts. These were taken with my phone, my camera is usually off taking pictures of the new house to send to the bank...
She looks a bit distressed, like "Somebody save me before my big sister loves me to pieces!":
Isn't she such a sweet looking baby?:
Big grins for mommy:
My dumb finger got in the way, but this is one of my favortie expressions of hers:
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Once again, the government screws up. Let's hope that this is changed before our favorite consignment shops go out of business.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Friday, December 26, 2008
Anna Felicity was named after Anna, my best friend:
She's got great neck muscles and head control. These were taken at about three weeks:
Thanks for your continued prayers.
I still haven't been able to find my USB cord for my camera but I have gotten a few photos off of my phone. Please excuse the poor quality. I can't believe she's a month old already, the time just FLIES!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The kitchen in the new house is painted and the cabinets are supposed to go up in the next few days. The livingroom is also supposed to be painted this week. Drywall is all up and most of the "mudding" has been finished. Still lots to be done before it's "done":
- Prime hallways, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc
- Paint hallways bathrooms, bedroom, etc
- Paint trim and install
- Order and install wood floors
- Pick out tile for bathrooms and install
- Paint and install floor trim
- Bathroom fixtures and cabinetry
- Pick out ceiling fans and install
- Install gas fireplace
- Siding and all that entails
I'm probably forgetting something crucial. Then of course there's all the paperwork and signings and official whatnot that has to be done. Then there's the packing of this house. And the unpacking once the stuff is taken 10 miles down the road to that house.
Call me a pessimist but I don't think that all this can be accomplished in 34 days. If we are moved into that house before Christmas I will be pleasantly surprised. I'm guessing it will be after the new year starts before we get in there.
Sometime in the next two weeks I will be moving one of the desks out of our bedroom and into the already overly crowded storage area in the kitchen so that there is room to set up the portacrib in our room. And then there's my bag to pack and the carseat to put in place "just in case" I go into labor before the induction date.
A woman's work is never done...
I just read over that list up there and realized that I didn't put interior doors... see, I knew I'd forget something! I'm sure that's not the only thing...
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
So a tentative induction date has been set for Monday, November 24. I will have an epidural in place, so that after the baby comes out they can manually remove the placenta without all the discomfort I've had during the previous times.
I am more than just a little excited about knowing the day that she's supposed to arrive.
In preparation for the little lady's arrival I have accomplished the following:
- I have three dozen cloth diapers, 6 covers, and 3 dozen+ cloth wipes for the impending tiny hiney.
- I also made a snazzy diaper bag that is only slightly bigger than the purse that I made myself. And it matches my wallet, too!
- The carseat ispurchased, ready, and waiting.
- So is the sling.
- The clothes/bedding/furniture/everything else have been gone through but are still boxed up at Granny's, because I am hoping that God will perform a miracle and we'll actually be in the new house before she gets here Otherwise I will retrieve/wash the newborn sized stuff/port-a-crib/essentials about two weeks prior to D-Day and we will "make do" here until we can move.
Speaking of the house, here's what there is left to do that I can think of off the top of my head:
- hardwood floors
- interior trim
- vinyl siding
- air conditioning
- interior paint
- interior doors
Can all this be done and allow time for the "legal stuff" so that we can move in before the baby is scheduled to arrive? God only knows ;) I'm so glad that He's in charge of it all.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Win a Beco Butterfly Baby Carrier and Beco Toy Carrier from Along for the Ride.
Who couldn't use another baby carrier? Especially such a nice one!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
My brother's son was born a month early on the 11th. He weighed 4lb 4oz and was 16 inches long. That is TINY! But other than his size he is totally healthy and went home within a few days like any other baby. He originially dropped down to 3lb 13oz but began gaining, so home he went. My mom is travelling this week to PA to go see the little squirt. I cannot even fathom holding a baby that weighs only 4 lbs.
The girls are back at school, the Christian Kindergarten, again this year. Also we will be doing a computer curriculum with Libby, to reinforce what she gets from school. Abby is doing well in 5K. Ben is doing Switched on Schoolhouse for 4th grade and boy-oh-boy is it worth it! He has finished each day before 10 am and requires basically no supervision from me. Caleb is watching "Leap Pad" dvds and we've been reading a lot together. I almost know "Polar Bear, Polar Bear" and "Are You My Mother?" by heart now.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Does anyone out there in internetland have any bat care tips?
I'll try to get photos tomorrow.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I don't think I've ever had a complete stanger speak that bluntly to me before. I'm still a little stunned by the whole thing.
Meanwhile the baby's fine and healthy and we found out that this little bundle is going to tip the scales in favor of the pink team in this family. So now it's just a matter of patiently waiting another 20 weeks or so until she arrives.
Friday, June 27, 2008
And so I'm coming here today to confess before witnesses, few though they may be, that I need help. I need your prayers. I need God to help me overcome this weakness.
Because the only way I'm going to overcome this addiction/illness/foolishness is with His help.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
A few months back I mentioned our goats. Frist we bought Clara and Heidi. Then Vito came to join them, and he was quite thankful for the small harem he'd been given. And as these things happen, we were blessed with kids in April. I assumed that Heidi had the buck kid (Alvin) and Clara had the doe kid(Frosting), since they were paired up that way when we found them. What a surprise we had when a month later Clara turned up with a little black doe kid(Sweetness) the day we brought home "Honey" the milk goat. Our herd was growing in leaps and bounds. I was concerned at first that Clara would disregard her new kid in favor of Frosting since poor little Sweetness wasn't as big and strong and might have trouble keeping up and holding her own. But things seemed to be going well. The grass and underbrush are growing in plenty, and there are three buckets of water kept in the pen, so for the most part the goats don't require much thought or attention.
(While we wait for the house on 8 acres to be completed, we live in the city limits in a neighborhood. Call me antisocial but I HATE having neighbors which is probably a result of being raised on a farm out in the country. And our goats, being the way that goats are, love nothing more than to escape from their paddock and roam the neighborhood checking if the grass is greener in this yard or that. So far, we haven't had any backlash from this occurence, but I know it's only a matter of time. )
I noticed lately that the other goats would go for a wander and leave someone behind. Sometimes it was Sweetness, sometimes Frosting, occasionally it was even Clara. I didn't really think much about it until I saw little Frosting standing near the water bucket all alone again. And was it my imagination or did she look a little thin? I mentioned this to Jeremy and he said he didn't think it was as serious as I thought, but I could always go get some "save a kid" and bottle feed her.
Here's where the guilt comes in.
Yep, I forgot that I was concerned. It just went right out of my head.
What with the house construction, and the baby growing, and the a/c quitting, and the tv dying, and my brother coming for a visit I forgot about Frosting.
Tonight on the way to Bible study the goats were actually in our own yard for a change. As I headed down the driveway I glanced and counted heads. Hmmm, Frosting was missing. So I got out of the van to go check on her.
I found her lying under a tree, lifeless. And I have this enormous guilt. Because I should have done something to prevent this.
I called my mom after church. "She might have been sick. A sick goat is a dead goat because once they're sick there's not much you can do."
But my concience is eating away at me. How could you forget?! You let her starve! Poor little orphaned thing needed a new mommy and you were too distracted to take care of her. What are the kids gonna say when they find out? They'll be crushed!
And now I just want to take them all to the livestock sale and sell them to someone more responsible; someone who won't just let them die out of absentminded stupidity.
Why has God seen fit to give me the responsibility of raising His children when I can't even manage a small herd of goats?
Monday, May 26, 2008
In other exciting news, the house is progressing in leaps and bounds. Here are some photos that were taken today:
What's gonna work? TEAMWORK!
That brown sweaty hunk on the scaffolding is my dearest Jeremy, building a big beautiful house for his family.
When you take into account that 8 days ago I said that they would START the subflooring, this is super duper uber fast! He said that they may be working on the second level flooring tomorow. I'm still trying to stay calm until it's completed; I wouldn't want him to think that I'm unaapreciative of the work that he's doing by rushing him to finish it by next week ;)
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Elizabeth and Abigail have two days left of school. Their program that they've been practicing for all month is Tuesday evening. I can hardly wait to see it and it will be so nice not fighting with them every morning to get up/dressed/in the car. I think that they might have been on time about thirty mornings out of 180. It's just IMPOSSIBLE to get two very dramatic girls and two very sleepy boys to all cooperate every morning. Somebody ALWAYS makes us late... and the culprit changes from day to day.
I have an ultrasound appointment on Thursday. I think it's the "let's see if you are as far along as you think you are" ultrasound. I know of several family members that are hoping that we'll be seeing double. Even the kids have jumped on the "hoping for twins" bandwagon.
Took the girls to see Prince Caspian today after church. They seemed to enjoy it although Elizabeth was quite figity according to her daddy. Toward the end of the movie Abigail leaned over to me and whispered "this movie is breaking of my heart!" And of course we left the theater counting down the days to the next in the series. May 2010 ... what a wait!
The foundation is being finished tomorrow and then they start on the subflooring. Jeremy is estimating the house could be finished as early as the middle of June and as late as September.
Patience has never been mine ... Lord grant me patience to wait for these things that are so worth waiting for!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
My daddy's dad was a very quiet man. Nanny and Pappaw would come pick me up for visits. They would keep me for days and days until my parents missed me enough to come fetch me. I can remember standing on the little stool in the bathroom next to him in the evening; he'd take out his teeth to brush them, and I'd pretend to take out mine, scrubbing the space between my thumb and fingers. I still have that little stool and even the little green toothbursh. On those nights at their house, I slept on a little cot in Pappaw's room, even though Nanny had twin beds in her room.
My Pappaw could make anything: doll houses, furniture, little old fashioned doll desks for certain little girls that desperately wanted to play school, even taking the time to measure the specific doll to make sure that she would fit in the desks.
He read his Bible everyday, slowly making his way through it again and again, year after year. My parents have his Bible, with the small slip of paper on which he recorded each time he finished reading it, only to start over at the beginning again.
He always said Grace in a very quietly mumbled voice. I don't think I ever understood what he was saying but I'll bet God did.
He was a farmer. We'd walk together and feed the chickens, turkeys, geese. He never seemed to mind this litte tag-along. And he always smelled like Old Spice.
Then we moved "a million miles away" when I was five, and I only got to see him maybe once a year.
Once when we were visiting, everyone was going to the state fair except Pappaw... until I asked him to take me. On another visit, I wanted to go fishing so he showed me where to find the big worms, walked back to the pond with me and watched as I tried in vain to catch that big fish. He had Nanny cook the three teeny tiny little fishes that I did catch; and because she cooked them, we ate them.
I think that if I asked, he would have done anything for me, made anything for me. I don't know if this was special treatment just for me or if he treated all the grandkids like this, but I don't think I want to know. It's kinda nice to feel like you might have been your favorite's favorite.
The last time I saw my Pappaw, I was a newlywed and he and Nanny were in a hospital-type nursing home. Pappaw was strapped to his wheelchair to prevent injury and his memories were mostly gone. He held my mother's hand, and occaisionally he would bring it up to kiss the back of it. In his confused mind he was still a ladies' man; even asked us "Are you girls looking for some guys?" It was sorta cute yet very sad. He quietly talked about how he needed to get home and let the cows out. I was given the bedroom suite that he made, along with a cedar chest and a painting of his horse and dog from sometime in the 1960's. I hope I have them always and can pass them on to my children; they are so valuable to me.
A few years later he passed away, but to me, he'd already been gone for a while. I missed him before he was gone. I wish my kids had the chance to meet him, spend time with him; I wish that he'd been able to meet and quietly dote on them the way he'd doted on me.
My parents only live about thirty minutes away and I take them to see my momma and daddy as often as I can. Because I want them to have fond memories of their own Granny and Pappaw.
Friday, April 11, 2008
We fed the lorikeets and giraffes. We watched the penguins diving and swimming (my favorite, it's better than cable tv). We saw the big cats snoozing in the afternoon sun, and stood inches away from three silverback gorillas (there was REALLY thick glass between us). And there were snakes, lizards, fish... all the usual residents.
The kids really enjoyed, we only misplaced a few kids a few times and they were quickly recovered. I think I'm going to invest in more of those animal/backpack/harness/leash sets. I already have three, but I'm thinking of keeping spares for when we're out with other families with small children, in case they'd like to use them.
By the end of the day we were tired, sore, sunkissed, and hot as we trekked back up the hill to the parking lot. Whose idea was it to put the parking lot at a higher elevation than the zoo? Obviously some sadist was on the design committee.
Sadly no photos were taken by me, my batteries ran out of juice after the first two photos I took :(
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
We are getting very close to building a new home... Thank you, God!
We are all healthy for now, no more flu... Thanks you, God!
Despite a recent chill in the air, Spring in definitely sproinging around here... Thank you, God!
We are pregnant with baby #5, due in early December... THANK YOU, GOD!!!!!!!
All I have need of His hand will provide, He's always been faithful to me...
(Sara Groves, "He's Always Been Faithful")
Friday, February 22, 2008
It all started with an unnecessary trip to the doctors' office last week. My darling-lovable-yet-often-meddlesome-mother-in-law insisted that the baby needed to be seen due to the fact that he was hoarse. So he and I sat in a waiting room, surrounded by every germ-carrying person in town, for FIVE hours... oh the joys of being "worked in". By the way, the baby was indeed getting over his cold... he did however have a double ear infection with nary a symptom, the doctor said he probably would've gotten over it on his own, but she would prescribe antibiotics, since we'd come so far and waited so long... blahblahblah.
Fast forward to this week.... Normally I don't get sick and when I do I tough it out. Doctors are for children and old people... Unfortunately I was pretty sure that I was dying, what with all the achespainsfevercoughingsneezingchestpainacheyyuckyickypoo... So Jeremy took me back up to the doctor where I was diagnosed with bronchitis and sinusitis. Gee, I wonder where I picked that up?
Two days later, everyone in the house woke up with RAGING FEVERS. Back to the doctors' we went, first one set, then another. That was fun. All the physicians concluded that five out of six patients have the flu. I think I was misdiagnosed but refrained from bringing that up, since it was one doctor's wife that diagnosed me. Thank goodness I took the antibiotics prescribed (pointless for the flu); now I've got the inevitable yeast infection, too... oh...good.
As I was writing this post Ben called for the puke bucket... Libby complained that I should put him in the tub, 'cause he was making too much noise throwing up. Abby told me that she had her eyes closed so she couldn't see it. At least Caleb was already in bed... it's gonna be a long night.
Yep... Libby already joined Ben in the vomit brigade... had to wash it out of her hair, poor thing.
Lord, please let my family get well soon!