Riverbend Ramblings

~Riverbend Ramblings~
The days are long, but the years are short.
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Thursday, November 30, 2006
Homeschool Corner: The Old Schoolhouse Store
For those of you familiar with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, The Old Schoolhouse Store has extended their post-Thanksgiving sale through this Saturday, December 2nd. You can receive free gifts by shopping from home at The Old Schoolhouse Store! There are tons of shopping categories, everything from textbooks and curriculum to Christmas gift ideas and toys. Do you already know some of the curriculum you are needing for next year? Well, check to see if it's in The Old Schoolhouse Store and get FREE gifts valued up to $180 - WOW!! They always offer FREE SHIPPING, too!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Free Planner Pages~ Works For Me!
I use daily planner pages in my Home Management Notebook. The pages aren't very decorative, and I haven't taken the time to design something amazing. I came across a great site where you can download, for FREE, a "Mother's Planner." Although it was designed primarily for homeschooling moms, you could adapt the format of the pages to fit your needs whether or not you are a SAHM or a SAHW! Here's the link. If you scroll down the page you will find the planner. It is available in different sizes, and it's FREE!!! Thank you, Joyfulmomma, for such a wonderful (and did I mention, FREE?) resource! You can find more WFMW ideas at Rocks In My Dryer.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Update on Curly Girl
We survived yesterday's visit to the doctor's office. The doctor said that Curly Girl's burn was indeed 2nd degree, but it should heal within 3-4 weeks. He gave us an Rx for Silvadene. Hopefully we will be bandage-free by Christmas! Here are a couple of pictures of Curly Girl as she celebrated her 5th birthday last week. Now you know where she gets her nickname! Curly Girl with her daddy, Mr. C Curly Girl playing Wack-a-Mole
 Posted by Picasa
Monday, November 27, 2006
Playing Nurse Today
I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving. Our out-of-town relatives have all headed back home.:( I'm already looking forward to seeing them again for Christmas. We planned on starting school back up today, but that hasn't happened. Last night when we got home from church I boiled a cup of hot water for tea. I set the cup toward the back of the kitchen counter, but apparently not far enough back to be out of the reach of little hands. (Can you see where this is going?) You would think that a mother of 4 children would know better. A few minutes later I heard screams coming from the kitchen. To make a long story short, Curly Girl spilled the boiling water on her arm. The skin just melted away. PTL for the internet! We quickly searched for the best way to treat the burn. I had to make a midnight run to CVS to pick up some sterile supplies. The burned area is only about 2-inches in diameter, but I still plan on taking her to the doctor today just to be on the safe side. Curly Girl's been a real trooper! She said, "God will give me new skin." I thought it was so sweet how a child can simply trust that God will take care of everything. I need to remember that, too. I'd appreciate your prayers for Curly Girl today.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
We had a wonderful time yesterday celebrating Curly Girl's 5th birthday. We ate lunch at one of her favorite restaurants and spent a couple of hours playing at Chuck E. Cheese's. The kids had so much fun! Mr. C's parents arrived last night just in time for birthday cake and ice cream. Curly Girl requested chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles (hmm, she must be my daughter). She also wanted some "berniller" ice cream (vanilla). Her favorite gift was a Polly Pocket set. You can imagine my chagrin when I read this morning that 2.4 million sets are being recalled due to choking hazards; thankfully the set she received was not part of the recall, but I still have that uneasy feeling. Our house will be full of company the rest of the week, but we'll be enjoying every minute of it. I made my last grocery store run today and will start meal preparations tomorrow. I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving with those you love. I'm off the computer until next week! (gasp)
Monday, November 20, 2006
Happy Birthday, Curly Girl!!
Today our beloved Curly Girl is celebrating her 5th birthday. She's been counting down the days for over a month, and I can't begin to describe how excited she is about turning 5 years old. Curly Girl is our third child and has her own special place in our family. Here are five things I wanted to share about our beloved Curly Girl. 1) As her nickname implies, she has very, very, very curly hair--strawberry blonde ringlets that bounce all of the time and have a mind of their own. She can't stand for anyone to comb those tresses out each morning, so I have to admit that some days it just doesn't get combed! 2) When Curly Girl gets excited she flutters her arms like a petite butterfly and smiles so big that her eyes disappear. 3) She has a Southern accent and a vocabulary all her own. We often wonder if there's anything in that pretty little head. 4) She knows how to whistle. One day a couple of months ago she walked up to me and said, "Hey, Mommy, I can whistle, see?", and she proceeded to whistle like she'd been doing it for years. 5) She is full of love and is one of the happiest children I know. She delights in the simple things in life. She enjoys catching lizards with her brother and playing dress-up with her sisters. She is a pixie princess. And I love her. Lots. More than I have words to express. Happy Birthday, Curly Girl!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
This is such an easy way to enjoy a savory chicken! Roasted Slow Cooker Chicken 1 whole roasting chicken Adobo or seasoning of your choice olive oil Rinse and clean out the chicken, then rub it with olive oil and seasonings. Cook it on LOW for 10 hours. DO NOT ADD ANY LIQUID! The chicken is so tender that it just falls right off of the bones. Don't toss the bones! You can make broth using the leftover bones and skin. Just place them in the slow cooker along with 8 cups water. Cook on LOW overnight. Strain the broth, pour it into glass jars, and chill. You can also freeze the broth, but I like to use it the next day along with the leftover chicken to make chicken and dumplings.
Christmas Decorating Tip~ WFMW
Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer is hosting a special Christmas edition of WFMW. You'll find tons of great tips that will make your holiday planning easier. Here's my tip:

During the Christmas season I like to display decorations on my walls without removing the wall decor and pictures I keep up year-round. But, who wants to put more nails in the wall for things that will only be displayed for a few weeks? Last year I solved my dilemma by using 3M Command Adhesive products.

I use the hooks for hanging wreaths, swags, plaques, bows, and garland. There is even a special clip that is ideal for decorating with strings of lights (pictured just to the left). I used it for putting twinkle lights around the doorway of our home and on the mantle.

After Christmas, you can pack up your decorations and very easily remove the adhesive strips from the wall. You don't have to worry about damaging the surface at all. Command Strips work for me! Photos from 3M's website.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Homeschool Corner: Our Schoolhouse
When we purchased our home last year, one of the things that I was excited about the most was the possibility of converting the small shed in our backyard into a schoolhouse. We've now lived here for 17 months, but we're not any closer to completing our "conversion." Doesn't this look like the perfect little schoolhouse? The inside is still filled with tools and boxes of books. I have experienced waves of homesickness over the past 17 months. Our extended family lives over 400 miles away. While I truly believe that we are exactly where God wants our family to be, I still miss our family and friends back in Florida. The Lord recently opened the door for my mother to purchase a home close by us; actually, it's right across the street!! Although she will not be relocating here full-time just yet, we are still very excited that she will be able to visit us more often and be more comfortable in her own place. Now, you may be wondering what my mom's vacation home has to do with my schoolhouse plans. Well, it just so happens that she has a small cottage in her backyard that is larger than our little building, and it is perfectly suited to function as a schoolhouse! Mom has been gracious enough to allow us to use this building for our homeschool. It has the cutest little front porch. There is one large room with a smaller adjacent room that will come in handy when one of the older children needs a quiet place to work. Best of all, it has heat and a/c! Last week was our first official week of lessons in the cottage schoolhouse. The children were excited to go over to "Mimi's house" for school each day. I can easily display things on the walls without damaging them because the walls are made of barnwood. The floor has a large carpeted area that is perfect for circle time with the little ones. We're having so much fun already! We still haven't relocated all of our school supplies from our home over to the schoolhouse, but I've been carrying over a few boxes each day. It's just amazing how many books we have! I've been hitting yard sales in search of bookshelves, a large table, a few chairs, and a filing cabinet. I was blessed to come across these precious wooden children's chairs. They are just the right size for the kids. They remind me of old-fashioned Sunday school chairs. They are in very good condition, and I thought they were a real bargain at only $5 each. I'm still searching for a table the right height to go with them, but I know God will provide one in His timing. :) A family in our church purchased some new furniture for their home and blessed us with a bookshelf they no longer needed. Boy, I can't wait to fill it up with all of the books we have in boxes! I am so thankful to see how the Lord has worked out our schoolhouse situation. More importantly, I know that the Lord completely had His hand in providing a house for my mom, and I can't wait until she is able to be here with us! Posted by Picasa
Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. My Monday is off to a good start--I always have a great day when my crockpot is cookin' away by 9 a.m. :o)

Here's this week's menu:

Monday: roasted slow cooker chicken; rice & gravy; broccoli w/cheese; fried green tomatoes

Tuesday: macaroni & ham bake; turnip greens; cornbread

Wednesday: burritos & tostadas

Thursday: oven roast; scalloped potatoes; boiled cabbage

Friday: hot dogs; french fries; fruit cocktail

I'll be posting some recipes over the next few days. Have a blessed week!

Head over to Laura's for some more great menu ideas.

Friday, November 10, 2006
Friday's Favorites
As those closest to us know, Mr. C and I are avid book collectors. Earlier this year one of my great-aunts in Michigan sent me a few books in the mail that belonged to my maternal grandmother and great-great-grandmother. One of the books is pictured below and is entitled Canadian Series Introductory English Grammar. It was published for use in the Ontario school system in 1868. It contains many of the basic grammar rules one would learn in elementary school, and the example sentences used are so quaint. Inside the front and back covers my great-great-grandmother, whose name was Anna Willis, inscribed her name and the year 1874, Belmont, Ont. I had no idea that my family tree had some roots in Canada! Although the book is not in the best condition, it is now one of my favorite things. I never met my great-great-grandmother; she died in 1942, over 30 years before my birth. Now I feel a little connection with her, holding something in my hands that she once held in hers. That connection can now be felt by the 6th generation as my children hold it in their hands. I think that Bookworm will really enjoy reading this old grammar book. Today she'll be reading the selections about plurals, which is what we're currently focusing on in grammar. One thing about grammar rules: they stay the same with the passage of time. Do you have any heirloom books that are special to you? Posted by Picasa
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Wal-Mart is at it again!
I can't even describe how disturbed I felt when I received this latest update detaileing Wal-Mart's outrageous support of the homosexual agenda by contributing 5% of online sales to a Gay/Lesbian Center in Washington, DC. Unbelievable! You can see the Center's donation page with Wal-Mart's link here. The American Family Association is asking 1 million families to pledge not to shop at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, which are two of the biggest shopping days of the year. I continued shopping at Wal-Mart even after their recent slap-in-the-face to conservative families when they joined the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, but now I am really fired up! I shop at Wal-Mart because it is budget-friendly; however, I am feeling quite fed up with this company! I'm going to pray about whether or not to continue spending money there, and I'm going to seek my husband's opinion as well. I realize that there are countless companies and organizations that support the homosexual agenda--many more companies that we purchase products from than we realize-- but I think that we Christians are accountable for how we respond when we are aware of the problem. Wal-Mart has trashed its All-American image by its blatent support of immoral groups. Very sad indeed! :o(
Laundry Duty
This evening while I was cooking supper 4 year old Curly Girl was busy playing, or so I thought. She called for me to come and see something on the floor. I was pleasantly surprised to walk in the room and see that she had been busy folding towels. Notice that each towel or washcloth was placed in its own "pile". I think she enjoyed playing with some toys in the midst of her folding. I was so proud of her for trying to help.  Posted by Picasa
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Simple Salsa~ Works for Me!
Our family loves salsa on almost everything. Most of the time I purchase salsa at the grocery store, but I like to make it from scratch when I can. It can be a bit time-consuming. The other day I was in a hurry and used a packet of salsa seasoning mix I picked up on sale made by the Ball company (the one that makes canning supplies). All you have to do is add the seasonings to 2 cups of fresh diced tomatoes (or you can used canned tomatoes). Chill for at least one hour before serving. It really did taste like homemade. Almost. DH still prefers my recipe :o) For more WFMW ideas, head on over to Rocks In My Dryer.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Bookworm's Butterfly
Bookworm recently completed a butterfly latch hook. She has not yet decided if she wants to use it for a pillow or wall art. I'm so proud of her for pluggin' away on this project. She has already started a new latch hook project--a puppy! Her goal is to have it completed by Christmas. Posted by Picasa
Our Vote Counts!
I headed out in the pouring down rain to cast my vote today. In the future I will most definitely vote by mail or participate in the "early vote", which in our area took place last week. For the first time in my life I voted electronically. When I lived in Florida I had to use the old "fill in the circle with your pencil" ballot. S0, today I felt high-tech. I'm sure that most states already use the computer-voting system, but it was fun for me to be introduced to it today. I was able to spend some time with the children today explaining our system of government and what a privilege it is to be able to vote. I also told them how important it is that we make wise choices when casting our vote. I told them that while, most likely, not every candidate I voted for is a Christian, I still voted for the most moral, conservative candidates on the ballot. Since we don't have a T.V. in our home, we haven't been subjected to the deluge of the liberal media. I think that our children often take the freedoms we have for granted. I know I did when I was a child. I'm sure that we will enjoy doing a unit study on the election process in '08 --if the Lord tarries! :-) They will be a bit older and more understanding in two years. As I'm typing this, it's 7:03 on the East coast, and the polls have closed. Those of you in the West still have time to cast your vote. P.S.--Isn't my voting sticker just PEACHY! :o) I asked the voting attendant if I could have a few of the stickers to take home to my kids. She really hesitated before answering me. I was thinking, "Come on, it's just a sticker. Do you really think you're going to run out of them today?" Finally she said she thought it would be o.k. Whew! I would have been in some serious trouble if I came home without stickers! Posted by Picasa
Monday, November 06, 2006
Look what I found!
I went to a great community yard sale on Saturday. One of my "finds" was this apple peeler/corer/slicer from The Pampered Chef. I have been wanting one of these for over a year, but they are not cheap! This one doesn't even look like it's been used. The best part...I only paid $3 for it! Posted by Picasa
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Warning about Magic Erasers
I am a big fan of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. I always keep several on hand because, with 4 little ones, you never know what kind of mess is just around the corner.:) I have let my children use them, too, under my supervision. Mrs. Blythe posted a link about a little boy who received some pretty serious chemical burns after rubbing his face with a Scotchbrite Easy Eraser. Click here to read his story and see a picture of his little face. My heart goes out to this poor guy and his mommy. Anyway, I wanted to pass the warning along to the rest of you. I need to make sure I don't leave this "magic" product sitting around where tiny little hands will get it.
Painting Update: The painting crew packed up and left just before lunchtime. It has been a challenge to keep the children out of the rooms that were being painted the last few days, but having new-looking walls is worth the inconvenience! I am very happy with the way the rooms turned out. Bookworm and Mickey Mouse have been doubling up in the bunk beds in the little girls' room this week while their rooms were being painted. I have enjoyed sneeking in late at night to see them all snuggled up together in the bunk beds. So sweet! I think that the little girls will have to share their room at least one more night. I sure don't want anyone sleeping in a room with paint fumes! Tomorrow is our weekly shopping/errand day. We'll be gone for most of the day, so that should give the walls enough of a rest for us to rearrange the furniture tomorrow evening. Praise the Lord for beautiful weather this week! It has been a blessing to spend a good part of our day outdoors instead of being stuck inside while the painting was going on!
Candy Cornucopia
The kids made these in Patch Club last night at church. We had several bowls filled with toppings: fruit loops, cheese nips crackers, M & Ms, Hershey's Kissables, and Skittles. The kids filled a waffle cone with the toppings of their choice. We wrapped them up in aluminum foil and saved them for snack time this morning. It was sweet to see the older three kids sharing with Lil' Nut. If you have any other fun Thanksgiving activities to share, please leave a comment! Posted by Picasa
Refrigerator Meme
It's been several days since Mrs. B tagged me for this meme, but better late than never, right? Here's a look at what's on my refrigerator this week. On the left hand side: a magnetic photo of Mickey Mouse in his T-ball uniform; my timer (a most important tool in our home!) our weekly menu. On the right hand side: a Commandments for the Heart poster from Doorposts (a great character-building tool for the kids!); a magnetic note pad; two Leap Pad phonics games; artwork by Curly Girl and an owl by Bookworm. While I love all of the drawings and art projects that the kids make, I limit what goes on the fridge. We have bulletin boards where most of their papers are displayed. I have to "cull" the fridge doors quite frequently.:o) If you haven't posted a picture of your fridge lately, consider yourself tagged! Posted by Picasa