Riverbend Ramblings

~Riverbend Ramblings~
The days are long, but the years are short.
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Monday, April 23, 2007

I'm going to be taking a blogging break this week. The very best mom in the whole world (that would be my mom) is visiting with us, and I want to just relax and enjoy spending time with her for the next few days.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Take care! :-)

Image courtesy AllPosters

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Friday, April 20, 2007
I'm a winner!
Go here to see what I've won. I'm so excited!!! Thank you, Jennifer!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Wordless Wednesday
Lil' Nut and Curly Girl help fold the laundry. :-)

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Pray for Heather

Many of you are already familiar with Heather who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last week. Heather is a young mother of three who has already had to deal with unbelievable medical challenges with her daughter Emma Grace, and now she is facing a very tough battle of her own.

Heather has an appointment at Mayo Clinic in just a few days, and BooMama is coordinating an effort to raise funds to help Heather and her family with expenses associated with the trip. You can make a donation via PayPal by visiting BooMama's blog on Wednesday, April 18.

We serve a mighty God who is still in the miracle-working business! I've already added Heather to my prayer list, and I hope you will, too.

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Monday, April 16, 2007
Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a great start.

Saturday morning I was up at the crack of dawn to hit some yard sales with a friend from church. A couple of hours and $8 later, here's what I ended up with: 4 Thomas Kinkade puzzles (the larger box has 3 puzzles in it), a vintage Tupperware food carrier, an etched glass plate, a bunny flag, and 2 pairs of BRAND NEW sandals. How often do you find brand new shoes in your size at a yard sale? The sandals were definitely the best buy of the day.
I still had time left after going to the yard sales to do my weekly grocery shopping without any kids with me. I was able zoom down the store aisles in record time. :-) The rest of Saturday was spent playing with the kids and finishing up my Sunday school lesson.

Sunday's services were a blessing. I'm so glad that I attend a church where the Word of God is preached! We had three first-time visitors, so it looks like I'll be busy baking cookies tomorrow.

We experienced a family milestone during the evening service. Lil' Nut promoted from the nursery and joined us in "big church". She was very excited and felt so grown-up! Although she did a really good job staying quiet during the preaching, I only caught snippets of the sermon because I was keeping a close eye on my wiggle worm. I'm always a bit nervous when we begin training our little ones to sit quietly through the service. Daddy doesn't get to help much with the process since he's busy preaching. :-) The folks sitting behind us were so kind and said Lil' Nut didn't bother them a bit. For the first time in 9 years, I no longer have a child in the church nursery. I guess we're now officially a family of big kids.

This week I have several tasks to accomplish on my to-do list. I'm going to try to finish my spring cleaning. The kitchen, children's bedrooms, guest bathroom, and porches still need some attention. I would also like to spend some time working in the garden if the weather cooperates.

I hope you all have a blessed week!


Weekly Menu~ April 16
This week I'm going to use a lot of things that are piling up in my pantry and freezer. I try to keep extra ingredients on hand and stock up on store specials, but I'm finding that my cabinets and freezer are too full of things that haven't been used. By using ingredients and foods I already have, I was able to cut back on this week's grocery budget. :-)

Sunday: potato & sausage soup; rolls

Monday: grilled chicken breasts; scalloped potatoes; broccoli w/cheese

Tuesday: roast beef; rice w/gravy; fried okra; squash w/onions

Wednesday: leftovers; fruit salad

Thursday: tacos and burritos w/all the fixins'

Friday: homemade pizza; salad

You can find more great menu ideas here. Happy cooking!


Friday, April 13, 2007
Friday's Favorites~ Treasures From My Childhood
The table in my front entry is currently decorated for spring. Today I thought I'd tell you about a few of things that are on display.

On the left side of the picture is a tiny mug that I've had since I was a baby. I remember it sitting on my dresser when I was growing up. It was one of the things that moved with me when I got married. The gold inscription beneath the baby is begninning to fade. It reads, "Bye Baby Bunting."

The house in the center is actually a votive holder. When a candle is lit it looks like there is a light shining through the little window. One of my best friends gave this to me a few years ago. She is a very thoughtful person who can spot something in a store and immediately think of just the person the item was made for.

On the right side of the picture is a bunny figurine that my mom gave me one Easter. The bunny carries a basket of brown eggs. This cute little figurine is special to me because it brings back lots of memories of growing up with my mom. She gave me the bunny when I was about seven years old during a time in our lives when it was just the two of us.

Mom worked very hard to provide for our necessities and took very good care of me. She spent all of her "free time" with me. I remember bike rides around the lake, playing game after game of Candy Land, and spending hours at the park. There sure wasn't any extra money floating around, but Mom would do little special things to let me know that she loved me very much. I don't think she spent more than a couple of dollars on the bunny, but knowing that she did her very best to make me feel special meant the world to me.


Thursday, April 12, 2007
You Noticed!
Several of you left such nice comments about my "new look." You made my day!! First off, you have to realize that I had absolutely zero, zilch, nada, no prior HTML knowledge. Well, I guess I do know how to strike through words thanks to Tammy. I actually like the Blogger template that I've been using ever since I started blogging, but I was ready for a change. Some of you are so talented and are able to make wonderful changes to your own blog whenever the mood hits you. I've also been impressed with some of the lovely custom designed sets that I've come across, but it seems a bit frivolous for me to actually pay money to have a custom design made. So, I experimented for a while several hours, and this was the result. I'm not sure how long my page will look this way. I'm not fond of change. If it's not broken, then I don't mess with it! I may still revert back to my old template, but for now this new style is working for me. I haven't quite figured out how to add graphics to the sidebar yet, and I'm a little worried that the header photo might take too long to load for those with a slower internet connection. If you have any suggestions or hints for my "look", please pass them along! :-)


What Is a Real Mum?
I was tagged by Karen to describe some of the characteristics of a "Real Mum" (I think this meme must have come from across the Pond!). I have been blessed with a wonderful, loving mother and four precious children, and to me there's no greater title than that of "Mom." A Real Mum: ~ honors and submits to her husband giving her children a picture of her relationship to God. ~ has her priorities straight: God, husband, children, home, ministry to others. ~ places her child in God's hands. ~ rejoices to see her child walking with God. ~ never complains about changing dirty diapers. ~ cultivates her child's talents and interests. ~ loves unconditionally. ~ mends broken hearts. ~ hunts for the missing favorite toy at bedtime. ~ never tires of rocking her little one. ~ uses the Bible as her most important textbook and training tool. ~ delights in playing with and conversing with her child. ~ would glady lay down her own life for her child's. ~ never misses a ball game or piano recital. ~ prays for and with her child. ~ instructs and reproves with love. ~ inspires her child. ~ praises in public and disciplines in private. ~ spends time with her child even when she craves "alone time." ~ keeps band-aids and hand sanitizer in her purse. ~ seeks to leave a Godly heritage for her children. I'm tagging Julie, Christina, Kristi, and Mommy. If you haven't posted your thoughts about what a Real Mum is, consider yourself tagged, too. Leave me a comment so that I can stop by to read your post. Remember, you don't have to have children of your own to know the characteristics of a Real Mum. :-)


Wednesday, April 11, 2007
A Touch of Cheer
After enjoying a few weeks of warmer weather and the new growth of springtime, we've been attacked by a burst of Arctic air for the past couple of days. Gone are my morning trips to the window to admire the azaleas, dogwoods, and tender buds on the trees. Freezing temperatures have wiped out the pretty scenery. I really enjoy using the flowers we have in our yard to "dress up" the inside of our home, but unfortunately I think I'll be waiting a while for the garden to recover.

While out running some errands yesterday I spotted a clearance sign for Easter floral arrangements. I couldn't keep myself from checking out the discounted flowers. Although I don't usually like to spend money on flowers, I couldn't pass up these alstroemerias. This simple touch really adds some cheer to the freshly cleaned dining room. I'd say the $1.98 was well-spent!


Monday, April 09, 2007
Weekend Review
Happy Monday! We had a busy, but wonderful, Easter weekend. We hosted a spring picnic and egg hunt on Saturday. Sixteen children and 30 adults attended. The children had fun hunting for eggs despite the chilly weather. It's amazing how it takes so much time to fill up those plastic eggs with candy and hide them, yet it takes less than ten minutes for the kids to gather them up!

After the egg hunt Mr. C gave a devotional lesson using Resurrection Eggs. It was a great way to intertwine the Easter story into our activity. The adults enjoyed discovering what was inside the Resurrection Eggs just as much as the children did.

I was up with the birds on Easter morning preparing a feast for the family. Although I thought that I planned everything out, I discovered at the last minute that I did not have a pie crust in the freezer. So, I had to whip up a crust from scratch in the middle of dressing four kids for church. Lots of fun.

We were blessed with quite a crowd for our morning service. Several of our folks had family in town for the day, and we had some local first-time visitors as well. People seem to come out of the woodwork on Easter. I've got a batch of cream cheese cookies in the oven right now for Mr. C to deliver to our visitors. Our choir presented an arrangement of Resurrection songs, and my husband preached a wonderful message.

I took a delightful nap on Sunday afternoon after we enjoyed our lunch and got the kitchen all cleaned up. Pure bliss!

Last night Mr. C preached another great message expounding on the morning's text. We had a couple of visitors in the evening service, too. I think we were the only church in town that had an evening service, which is really sad. I was glad that one of my online friends and her son were able to join us as well. She is in town caring for her ailing mother-in-law. Hopefully we'll be able to grab lunch together one day this week.

This week I plan on finishing up my spring cleaning and boxing up the rest of the kids' winter clothes. I am a real soldier in the clothing war; I have too many boxes of hand-me-downs stored in the attic. I also want to finish up my curriculum list for next school year. I have several items that need to be ordered soon, and I need to take an inventory of our school books and supplies as well.

I'm not sure if I'll be posting much this week, so I thought I'd leave you with a few pictures of some of the springtime decor around our house. Have a wonderful week!
our front door

wreath on the entry closet door

front entry table

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Menu Plan Monday~ April 9
Easter Sunday~ baked ham; sweet potato casserole; pineapple and cheese casserole; pea salad; rolls; chocolate silk pie

Monday~ leftovers

Tuesday~ pasta bake; salad; garlic toast

Wednesday~ hamburgers; fries; fruit salad

Thursday~ chicken tenders; green beans; creamed corn

Friday~ pizza; salad

Laura hosts Menu Plan Monday each week.


Saturday, April 07, 2007
Resurrection Day
He Is Risen!

Matthew 28:1-9
1) In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2) And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3) His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4) And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5) And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6) He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7) And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

8) And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

9) And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Photo courtesy AllPosters.


Thursday, April 05, 2007
Spring Cleaning: Day 2
The next room on my spring cleaning list is the dining room, one of the most-used rooms in our home. If we eat at home all week, 126 meals are served in our dining room. One hundred twenty-six!! It's no wonder that this room requires a lot of attention!

I starting working on the dining room a couple of days ago, but I wasn't able to finish everything because we had to travel out of town for my husband to preach at a meeting. Today I finally got the antler chandelier and the windows cleaned, so I can check this room off of my list.

Dining Room Tasks Completed:
vacuum the crown molding
vacuum window treatments (I washed them recently.)
clean blinds
wash walls and baseboards
clean chandelier
dust artwork
wash windows (inside & out)
move baker's rack and wipe it down
declutter baskets on baker's rack (crayons, paper, etc. are stored here)
vacuum seat cushions
polish table and chairs

Here's what the dining room looks like now:


Monday, April 02, 2007
Happy Monday! I hope you had a relaxing weekend. We stayed busy, but we enjoyed being able to spend time together as a family.

Saturday morning after tidying up the house I took Curly Girl and Lil' Nut with me grocery shopping while Bookworm and Mickey Mouse went on bus visitation with Mr. C.

On the way to the store I spotted a sign for a yard sale in a very upscale neighborhood that I just couldn't pass up. While I was browsing the tables, a man arrived to pick up some furniture he had purchased earlier in the day. The furniture was under a tarp, so I hadn't seen it yet. When the tarp was removed, my heart skipped a beat. There was a matching sofa and loveseat in brand new condition that would have gone perfectly with the paint colors in our family room! Oh, well! I didn't have the heart to ask the sellers how much they got for the set.

I still found some good deals. Bookworm has been needing some t-shirts now that warmer weather has arrived, and I was able to get her six shirts that looked like new for $1.50 total! My real treasure of the day was an adorable little flower pot fountain. The water makes the most relaxing bubbling sound, and I thought it was just too cute! The spade handle needs to be glued back on to the base, but I still thought $3 was a fair price. I haven't decided if the fountain will have a home on the front porch or the back porch. Today it's on the kitchen counter.Saturday afternoon our family headed here to do some fishing and enjoy a cookout with friends. The weather was perfect, but the fish weren't bitin'. Our host finally snagged a fish, much to the delight of the kids. He was kind enough to throw it back into the water with the hook still intact and let Curly Girl reel it back in. She actually thought that she caught the fish, so she was thrilled.

Our host thought that Lil' Nut would enjoy having a turn, too, but her reaction was a little bit unexpected. When she got the fish reeled in she said, "Hey, that's Mr. John's fish!" She's too smart to be fooled. :-)

As darkness approached, we roasted hot dogs over the campfire and made S'mores. Before we headed home Mr. C decided that Buddy needed a bath in the pond, so he tossed Buddy into the pond (much to the chagrin of a few members of our family). Buddy didn't know what in the world had happened, but he quickly found his way back to the shore. Poor dog!

Our church attendance was pretty good on Sunday despite the rain and some families being gone for spring break. All of my Sunday school kiddos were there, and we had a fun class. A new family that has visited with us several times came forward at the end of the service desiring to become members of our church, so that was a real blessing.

This week I am hoping to get a lot more spring cleaning done. Today I'll be working on the dining room. It's a small room, so it shouldn't take too long to get it spic-n-span. If you are doing some spring cleaning at your house, post a comment so that I can check your progress.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

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Weekly Menu~ April 2
One of the local grocery stores had quite a few items on special this week, so my menu will be utilizing the great deals I found in the meat department. This particular grocery store is not the one that I usually shop at, but when I can load up on meat at a super price, it's worth planning my meals around the weekly specials.

Sunday: roast tenderloin; rice; fried okra; sweet corn; cornbread

Monday: chicken and rice casserole; green bean bake

Tuesday: We'll be eating supper at a preacher's conference, so I won't have to cook! :)

Wednesday: tacos with all the fixins'

Thursday: pasta casserole; garlic toast

Friday: pizza; salad

You can see more menus at Laura's. Have a great week! :-)