Wednesday, December 28, 2005

We're Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!

For the second time in 5 days we've managed to squeeze the eight hour trip between our place & Port Orange, FL (see pic below) into more than 12 hours. On the way down Friday it was 12 hours & 5 minutes. Today on the way home it was 13 hours and 15 minutes. We're tired.. and may never travel on I-95 South-bound south of S. Carolina again. But......................

We had a GREAT time with hubby's folks, enjoyed warm weather and happy sunshine, & got lots of good house-buying advice too. Yeah!!

Projected New Years Resolution #1: Find a house & move into it before next winter.

Projected New Years Resolution #2: Buy a generator to power said house with when the power goes out (see last week's posts)!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to the newly 31 year old. *You* know who you are!! =) If I had a picture from that week-long visit, I'd post it, but like Ta Martin, you managed to escape the camera's lens. Oh well. Happy birthday anyway old man!! ;-)

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas '05

Dear family & friends,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We thank our Lord and Savior for this special season to remember His birth. It is a testament to who He is that much of the world still celebrates Christmas even after more than two millennia have passed. Yet this is only one aspect of His influence. Nearly the entire globe marks the passage of years with a calendar based on His incarnation. Also, the multitude of Christian religions ultimately trace their roots back to the Savior. Lastly, his teachings forever changed the world’s cultures and gave rise to some of the greatest civilizations on Earth. However, let us not among these many effects loose sight of the reason He left His heavenly throne: He was born to die, be buried, and victoriously rise again for each of us. Truly, this is His greatest legacy.

In addition to our Savior’s gift of eternal life, as a family we have much for which to thank Him. We began this year with Melinda approximately two-thirds along in her first pregnancy and us looking for the Lord’s leading regarding my then recent employment interview in Connecticut.. In a whirlwind of activity, we completed twelve weeks of birthing classes, read and discussed a variety of books about childbirth, and received countless and greatly appreciated gifts of every sort for our son. On March 24th the Lord blessed us with Kenneth Paul, who of course single-handedly forever changed our lives; and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Since that day it seems like there were almost as many firsts for us as there were for Kenneth, but we enjoyed them together. On April Fools Day Kenneth had his first tub bath: oddly enough he did not find it the least bit amusing. But by April 14th he had forgiven us enough to give his first real smile. September was a regular potpourri of firsts for all of us. For one, it was our first road trip and our first time out of the country together while attending a wedding in Canada. For another, Kenneth gave his first real belly laugh while visiting certain cousins in New York. Apparently Kenneth was studying during that road trip because during our first week home the last week of September he sat up by himself, ate solid food, and rolled over, each for the first time. Whew!

As we look forward to our first Christmas together as a family of three, we would like to thank each of you who helped us through this year. Some visited, some gave gifts, and we are sure that many prayed. Please know that from Kenneth’s safe arrival to a final negative answer from Connecticut, many your prayers have been answered during the course of this year. As we remember our Savior’s birth, it is our prayer that you will know Him as your Savior; and in so doing enjoy the joy and peace of His love.

Merry Christmas,

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Daytona Beach, FL!! =)

OK, so the picture was taken on Christmas Eve, but it still counts!!

Friday, December 23, 2005

36-Hour Layover

That's how long we have at home between moving back in after the power being restored and leaving for Christmas in Florida. Wheeeeeeee...........

Baby Dragon was SO funny when we first got home. Every new room we carried him into, he would just look around & squeal & grin. Guess he missed being home too!! =)

Moving in last night was an adventure. The phone rang like 4 or 5 times in the first 5 minutes we were home. We discovered several fatalities from the extreme cold... two fish & two plants. Lost a gallon of milk out of the fridge too, but all things considered, the trailer & contents fared pretty well while we were gone. The Lord is good that way isn't He?!

Off to finish packing for the trip....

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

As of about 7 pm last evening.....

Although our land-lady didn't get home to find the power on until 10:40 pm, she did call & let us know that the electricity is back on in our little trailer.... only 133 hours w/o power (5 days 13 hours, which translated into 6 days away)... but who's counting?! ;-)

Later this morning I must begin the sad task of extricating us (and all our accumulated stuff) from the Ramey household. Clothes, baby food jars, mail, play pen, tin of tea, baby toys, still un-eaten cranberry-pear pie... (maybe I'll send that one to work with Hubby tomorrow!) The sheets for the air mattress need washing, one warm down comforter needs to be relinquished, and alas but the carnivorous couches must be vacated for some time to come.

It's been a grand stay at Chez Ramey though...

......warmth... enchiladas... Halo... meeting SB... tea & shortbread... working washer & dryer... access to Xanga at 5am.... Woodchuck cider..... adult-style sleep-overs (which means we're supposed to go to bed BEFORE dawn!)... NCS drama scenes DVD (2x)--yes, they really were that good!... lasagna.... Narnia movie.... one giggling-while-teething baby.... home-made egg-nog... Martins.... catching up with the Rameykim after two months of schedule-busyness induced absences (I think 5 & 1/2 days straight has amply made up for that!.... Fiesta's..... Jack Knipe--here's to a fellow speed-demon Jersey-ian... Hollister & Hot Topics (in the same mall trip ).... mint-chocolate-Andes candies cookies, all 7 dozen of 'em.... Who's your Daddy? onesies [Ans: Darth Vader]... stumping 20Q.... wine with milk .....scarring teen-age boys who think they're not easily embarrassed .... Shit Happens posters.... Mike's Hard Lime... DodgeBall (the movie) at 1 am.... birthday bashes for N8 the Great.... 147 pancakes.... Rachel's visit.... tail lights smashed out by ice-laden tree branches.... a glass of cab.... Bonnie-at-the-shooting-range story.... a town called Honea Path... big pot 'o chili on a cold day.... good times with friends, both old & new. Thanks guys!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Light at the end of the road... so to speak.... =)

No, our lights aren't on yet, but when Hubby ran by the house tonight there were power crews on the street next to ours. Perhaps their estimate of power restoration by 11 pm tonight will prove accurate after all. -] That'd make all of us happy.

Poor Baby Dragon seems to have given up on ever returning home. He took a 2 3/4 hour long nap this afternoon, that after sleeping 11 hours last night. I think our partying last evening wore him out!! :-D

One more night at Chez Ramey, then we get to lug all our stuff back home & pack up for the Christmas trip to Florida....for which we leave on Friday morning. We'll be home for a grand total of 36 hours inside 2 weeks time... Hopefully the fishies will survive another week without us!!

I Wanna Go Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sound whiney enough for you?

Wouldn't trade the accommodations or host & hostess for any place or anyone in the world, but I still wanna go home. This "extended stay plan" is seriously re-defining "strangers & pilgrims." Is this how we as believers are supposed to feel in this world??

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Smashing Success

Almost half of the lasagna disappeared, Cheryl brought a kicking good salad & bread, the eggnog kicked back at us.... T'was a good night. -]

By Tuesday, Dec. 20th at 11pm...

That's Duke Power's most recent estimate for electricity returning to our trailer. Therefore we continue our stay at Chez Ramey.....(For some reason the song "Welcome to the Hotel California" just popped into my head. ;-)) Mad props to C&L for continuing to put up with baby food jars scattered in random places around the kitchen & dining room, diapers showing up here & there, toys strewn across the living room... and that's just from the kid, never mind his parents!! O.O But speaking of the baby...

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...
One of the baby's front-n-center top teeth *finally* broke through Friday. We project it's partner to be through soon, although at this rate we may still be at Chez Ramey when that happens...

In other news.....
I would also comment on a fantastic sermon preached this morning in Honea Path, lunch w/ "Mr. K & crew" at Fiesta, and a great Narnia movie watched tonight while the proprietors of Chez Ramey watched the baby, but my neurons are ceasing to fire at an alarming rate & I must close before I'm unable to find my bed.

I hear we're to be invaded by hordes of folks from Clemson tomorrow evening-night / Tuesday.... This should prove interesting. Baby is looking forward to a personal showing of "Scary Elmo." I am looking forward to Lori's lasagna. Hubby is looking forward to NOT having to commute from Anderson to G-ville for the rest of the week. (Now he can sympathize with Mr. K!)

God bless us every one.. and the Christmas goose too!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

You know it's cold when...

You open your powerless refrigerator & think to yourself "it's colder in the kitchen than it is in the refrigerator."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Camping Out

Running away to Anderson to escape the falling temperatures in our trailer. Taking sweet haven at Lori & Coart's for as long as our power is off. (Hopefully not too long, or else my little fishies will freeze).

Had fun 4-wheeling in the pasture today, trying to get off the property with lots of limbs down & way too many trees hanging low over the driveway. Praise the Lord we only had two limbs come down on the back of the pick-up truck. Several twigs drove themselves through the (formerly water-proof) tarp on the back.... and one of the back tail lights was smashed out... but the truck still runs fine & was not too dented, we have a warm place to stay tonight, there was no damage to the trailer, & the damage to our truck is pretty easily repairable.

In 8 winters of parking under two dying trees, this is the first damage to property that we've had. The Lord is good. :-] And yes, we know it's silly to park under dying trees during ice storms, but that's where the driveway is. Deal with it!!

For now we're basking at Chez Ramey, playing Halo & catching up on Xanga... big people sleep-over indeed!! Only person sleeping here so far is the baby!! Poor thing only got a combined total of 45 minutes sleep since waking in the COLD trailer this morning...

Our power went off at 6:15am. We packed up & headed to my aunts in Greer for lunch... Wouldn't you know that about a half-hour after our arrival they lost power too?? We did warn the Ramekins that we might be the harlosers (as opposed to harbingers) of their power too, but they were nonplussed & told us to come anyway....

I'm secretly suspicious that they were just interested in the shortbread, pies & cookies that we promised to bring with us. =) Anyway... back to the adult sleep-over... =-)

Update on that Adult Sleep-over thing.....
At 4am, the last of the adults finally decided to turn in for the night... *ahem* morning. Sweet sleep.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Almond Shortbread...

Made some yesterday, and it's begging to be dunked in a steaming cup of Rooibos Macadamia tea from Teavana. Fortunately I have a tin of said tea..... Yum!!

and yet more Christmas cards to mail.....

Oh, all 40 of the first batch of Christmas cards w/ letters are mailed, the second set of 20 photo cards arrived yesterday. They should be going out tomorrow (if I get off the computer & write them). I'm afraid all the local yokels will just be getting letters, as I think we're running out of photo cards again and I REFUSE to buy another 20!!! There's just NO way that I'm going to send out 80 Christmas cards & letters!!! However, lest any L.Y. feel deprived, those missing the official photo card will get a 4x6 print of the sepia print from last post (in proper resolution, naturally).

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Christmas is Coming....

...and I'm enjoying playing this album from '96. Awesome...

Just above you see a rendering of what might have been our family Christmas photo (if it hadn't clashed so badly with the card that we wanted to use). So... we opted for a color photo instead. But we still thought this photo was cool.

And yes, now I have like 95 billion envelopes to address & a Christmas family letter to edit & print.... and trying to find paper that's narrow enough to fit in the envelope with the pictures (only 8" wide) is an exercise in INSANITY. (and I didn't need any help in that department)