Riverbend Ramblings

~Riverbend Ramblings~
The days are long, but the years are short.
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Friday, September 28, 2007
Free Books!
Life in a Shoe is hosting a giveaway of Vision Forum's exciting new adventure series, Ballantyne books. For those of you who have not yet entered the contest, head over there now!! The contest closes at midnight CST.

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Friday's Favorites~ Little House Books

Do you recognize this picture? I think you will if you looked at Kelli's post today. When I was growing up I read through all of the Little House books time and time again. Now I'm thoroughly enjoying introducing the Ingalls family to my children. We started using the series for our afternoon read-aloud time at the beginning of the summer. We're almost through with book #2, Little House on the Prairie.

I picked up the first two books in the series at a yard sale a few months ago, but I've been planning on using the public library to check out the rest of the books as we get to them. Of course, you can only keep a borrowed book for so long, and I'm not quite sure that we'd be finished with each one by its due date. So, I was absolutely thrilled when I stumbled upon this entire boxed set at an antique store recently. I snatched it up and quickly headed to the sales desk. The price wasn't bad, and the set was in pretty good condition. I think it must have just been on someone's bookshelf for the past 35 years, because the pages don't even look used. I asked the sales clerk if the price on the box was the best she could do, even though I was inwardly very happy to pay the price on the box. She said that she could take off 10%. Whoo-hoo!

Now we'll be able to enjoy taking our time reading through the series, and my kids can develop a special bond with Laura, too.

Before you head off for more Show and Tell, let me know which of these books is your favorite. :)

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Things That Make My Heart Smile

Nannykim shared some things that make her heart smile and challenged others to do the same. Here's my list:

the sound of my children's laughter


hugs and kisses

freshly baked bread


pumpkin scented candles

twinkle lights

romantic movies

love notes

fall leaves

hand written letters

encouraging words

clean sheets

bubble baths

little girls playing dress-up

hot buttered popcorn

phone calls from far away friends and family

our cat and dog curled up together

a shiny sink

beautiful music

special Bible verses

old photo albums


holding hands with my husband

peaceful little angels sleeping in their beds

What things make your heart smile? Let me know if you post a list; I'd love to read it. :)


Monday, September 24, 2007
Fall Into Reading Challenge

Katrina at Callapiddar Days has launched her Fall Into Reading 2007 challenge. Since my book basket is overflowing with a huge pile of books, I thought that participating in the challenge would give me the incentive to log some serious reading hours. I don't have many spare moments to crack open a book, so most of my reading is done at night after the kids have gone to bed. I've been known to pull an all-nighter now and then, which I'm sure nobody else does, (right, Becky?). :)

Without further ado, here's my fall reading list.

A Lady of High Regard by Tracie Peterson

Acts Dispensationally Considered by C. R. Stam

Ever After by Karen Kingsbury

Going Home by Wanda Brunstetter

Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers

Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury

Mission: Motherhood by Cathy Corle

Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp

Summer by Karen Kingsbury

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell

Yep, there's quite a bit of variety. After I finish a book I'll cross it off of my list. Happy reading! :)

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Saturday, September 22, 2007
Everyday Things
Blogging has been at the bottom of my to-do list lately. Our days have been full of everyday things: homeschooling, housekeeping, family time, church, piano lessons, child training, shopping, laughing, planning, and playing. Here's a glimpse at what we've been up to this week.

Bookworm and Mickey Mouse were in charge of shredding piles of newspaper to use in Sassy's litter box.

The kids spent lots of time playing outside and enjoying the cooler temperatures. Someone recently asked me what we do for P.E. Building tree forts and then tearing them down is great exercise. :)

Curly Girl has been practicing her cleaning skills. She volunteered to clean the dining room chairs and did an excellent job. Bookworm was happy, since this is usually one of her chores.

One of our church members brought us enough vegetables from her garden to last us several months. I had to reorganize my pantry and clean out my freezer so that I could store all the wonderful bounty. It really was a blessing to receive all these veggies. Part of my weekly food budget can now be spent on other things for the next few months.

This morning I headed to town to pick up a few things at the store. I stopped at a yard sale on my way and found an autumn wreath and a cast iron skillet with the original price tags still attached. The wreath is now hanging on the back porch door, and the skillet is waiting to be seasoned. I've been wanting a grill pan for a while, and this one only cost me $3.

The rest of today will be spent tidying up the house and preparing for Sunday. I need to finish up my Sunday school lesson and practice a song I'll be singing at church. I've already put fresh sheets on all of the beds, there's a load of laundry in the washer, and a pile of ironing is calling my name. Lots of little things, but they're all important. I hope you all have a wonderful Lord's day. Don't forget- tomorrow is the first day of autumn! :)

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Thursday, September 20, 2007
Blogger Friend School~ Assignment #3

Assignment #3~ Alphabet Meme
This week's assignment is to use the letters of the alphabet to describe yourself or things that are important to you.


"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John 10:27-28 KJV


Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Fun Family Field Trips
We've been blessed to have Mr. C's parents visiting with us for the last few days. They've been on the final leg of their 50th wedding anniversary trip. We canceled school while they were here but still managed to fit in a little history and zoology with the help of a couple of field trips.

Grandpa is a big classic car fan, so Saturday we all went to a car show that was held in nearby town. It was nice to walk the streets in this usually sleepy little town and watch Grandpa drool over the cars of yesteryear.

Grandma & Grandpa walking with Mickey Mouse on the left of the picture.
Bookworm is next to a Lamborghini Countach.

Yesterday we wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and do something outdoors. We ended up going to the Atl*nta Z*o. Believe it or not, this was my first visit ever to a zoo! Here are a few pictures from our day.

The kids take a break for a quick pose. Lil' Nut looked too cool in Grandpa's shades.

Lil' Nut wanted to spend the whole day petting the sheep.

After our fun time at the zoo, we went to a really nice mall in Atlanta and had dinner at The Cheesec*ake Fact*ry. I am one spoiled girl. :)

After their grandparents left this morning to head home to Florida, the kids were a little bit disappointed when I announced that we would still be having school today. They were begging to play outside in the cool morning air. I compromised, and we started school a little bit later than usual. I'm learning to relax when it comes to our schedule. There are days we can set the schedule aside and let things just flow naturally.

Sassy Update: Sassy's surgeries were last Tuesday. By Saturday it appeared that she was coming down with an infection. The vet ordered her an antibiotic, and she seems to be doing better each day. She's also adjusted to the newspaper in her litter box. :) Hopefully she'll be jumping around again in a few more days.

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Friday, September 14, 2007
Friday's Favorites~ Hummel Music Box
Today for Show and Tell I'm sharing a gift I received from my great-grandmother when I was a baby. It's a small, round Hummel music box designed to hang on the wall. The picture on the front is entitled "Playtime" and depicts a little boy playing with his two bunny friends.

I remember when I was a little girl how I would pull the string over and over again and listen as "Edelweiss" softly played. I still get goosebumps when I hear the music. Maybe that's one reason The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007
Birthday Boy

The picture above was taken on Mr. C's 1st birthday. Today he celebrated his 34th. This year he didn't wear the traditional party hat; he sported some of his new hunting gear instead.

I fixed a special birthday meal with some of Mr. C's favorites: chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce, chicken cordon bleu, rice, corn with butter sauce, cheddar biscuits, and coconut cake. I used this cake recipe that Kelli shared a while back.

Tonight just before bedtime, Curly Girl remembered that Daddy hadn't had his birthday spanking yet. So, being the good daddy that he is, Mr. C dutifully took a beating from the kids. They loved every second of it.

I'm so thankful to be married to this wonderful man! :)

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Poor Sassy!
Sassy stayed at the vet's office for 24 hours after her surgeries. We brought her home late yesterday, and I was amazed at how well she seemed to be feeling. Today was a different story. Sassy's pain medicine must have worn off because she was in quite a bit of pain. She was content to snooze the day away curled up on my bed. That's fine with me; I'm sure I'd feel the same way.
We've lined her litter box with shreded newspaper since she won't be able to use litter for the next several days. So far she hasn't seemed to "use" the paper but wants to sleep on it instead. Any suggestions??


Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Blogger Friend School~ Assignment #2
Blogger Friend School Assignment #2
1) Take some inspiration from your dream blogging location and show where you blog at home.

2) Share a Bible verse that's on your heart this week.

Well, I really don't think that my desk area has much in common with the rolling hills of Ireland, but I do have a bit of green to look at out my window. In several more weeks these leaves will be turning the most beautiful shades of gold and brown.

My computer is located in our music room/home office. I'm not going to show you a "before" picture of my desk, but trust me when I say it was a wee bit messy. I've now cleaned it off and added something lovely to look at.

Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."


Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Remembering 9/11

I'm praying for America today. Are you?

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Monday, September 10, 2007
Happy Monday!
Our day started out at a slower-than-normal pace. Last night Mr. C preached at Landmark Baptist Church, just south of Atlanta. Pastor O'Steen (no relation to the one you're thinking of) and his church folks always make us feel right at home. After the service our family enjoyed sharing a meal with the O'Steens at a Mexican restaurant. The food was delicious, and we enjoyed our time of fellowship together.

Mrs. O'Steen, one of my closest friends, is a very gracious, thoughtful pastor's wife. We've known each other since we were kids, and it's such a blessing to have someone from "home" just over an hour away from us. She presented us with a wonderful basket of treats to take home. Notice all of the "fall" goodies; she knows what I like! :)

Since we arrived home very late last night, I let the kids sleep in this morning. I would rather us start our day a little bit later than usual than have four grumpy kiddos dragging around. While I like having a loose schedule, it is my helper and not my master. Flexibility can be a very good thing. We didn't start our lessons until 10:00, and by then everyone was well-rested and ready to get to work.

This evening my men had a meeting at church, so we had a "girl's night" playing games and watching a video together. Lil' Nut and Curly Girl played Hungry Hungry Hippos. Somehow we always end up losing a few of those little white marbles. I'm sure they'll turn up the next time I move the furniture to vacuum underneath. ;)

Tomorrow morning Sassy has an appointment with the vet. I don't like to schedule morning activities, but she has to be there at 8:30. Sassy is going to be spayed and have her front paws declawed. We've researched to pros and cons of this procedure, and we believe it's the best thing to do for Sassy. Lord-willing all will go well with our sweet little kitty's procedures.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007
Happy Grandparent's Day to the world's best grandparents!
We love all of you!

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Friday, September 07, 2007
Show & Tell

Yesterday while Bookworm was at her piano lesson I decided to spend a few minutes browsing in our local thrift store. This particular store is in a huge old warehouse building. All of the items are donated by the community, and the proceeds go to help feed and clothe needy folks in our area.

I wandered around looking for autumn decorations, but I didn't find any. As I was on my way out of the building, I passed by the shoe display. Normally I don't ever look for shoes at this particular thrift store because most of the ones donated are in terrible shape. However, yesterday I struck gold when I spotted these Cole Haan sandals in excellent condition.

A size 5 1/2, they're way to small for my foot, but they're just about right for Bookworm. If you're familiar with this brand, you know that Cole Haan sandals start at around $150 new. Guess how much this pair cost me? With tax, 54 cents, that's right CENTS!! I felt just a little bit guilty as I paid for the shoes and headed out the door, like I was stealing the shoes (I mean, come on, 50 cents!), but I love a good bargain. :)

Visit Kelli for more Show & Tell.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Blogger Friend School~ Assignment #1
This year I've decided to enroll in Blogger Friend School hosted by Tamara at Training Hearts. I'm looking forward to participating in the weekly assignments and meeting my classmates. :)
Assignment #1
A. Describe how you started blogging and your personal goals for journaling.

I actually stumbled upon the whole "blogging" thing. I googled "home management binder" and found Mrs. Wilt's lovely blog. A few weeks later I decided that blogging would be a wonderful way to stay in touch with long-distance family and friends, as well as record the daily happening in our home. I've come across some fantastic ideas and met some amazing ladies along the way. My goal for this blog is for it to continue to be a God-honoring place to share about our days.

B. Share a photo of your dream location from which to blog.

I would love blog from the northern Ireland coast.

C. Share some things about yourself.

1. Time you usually blog: I usually blog during our afternoon quiet time or after the kids have gone to bed at night.

2. Your favorite drink: hot chocolate

3. Favorite book: Besides my Bible, I can't pick just one! I just love good books! :)

4. Favorite dessert: cheesecake

5. A scripture that has been an inspiration to you: There are so many verses that the have been special to me during different seasons of my life. A verse that has been special to me lately is Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." This verse reminds me that my desire should be to please God in everything I say and do.


Poor Kitty!

Lil' Nut came running through the house yelling, "Mommy, I put Sassy in the clothes machine and I can't get her out!" I followed her into the laundry room, opened the dryer door, and found a very confused kitty. Thankfully Lil' Nut hasn't learned how to turn the dryer on yet. My sweet 3 year old has sure been keeping me on my toes lately. ;)

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007
This was our breakfast this morning--lemon poppyseed bread. It tasted good enough to have been made from scratch, but I have to be honest and say that I had a little help from Betty Crocker. :) Last week there was a buy one/get one free special on bread mix, plus I had a coupon, so each box only cost me about 50 cents. Mixing a bit of the glaze with some butter made for a delicious spread.

Things were pretty normal around our house today. We finished with our lessons by lunchtime, so the kids enjoyed having a couple of hours to play outside this afternoon. I really wanted to sit down on the porch with a good book, but I knew that I needed to tackle my ironing basket instead. All of the clothes have been put away, and the laundry room looks tidy once again. Bookworm has been begging me to teach her how to use the iron. I think I was about 12 years old when I starting doing my own ironing. I'm a little bit worried that she'll burn herself, but I guess it's bound to happen eventually. A small aloe plant on the laundry room counter will come in handy if she has an accident. If any of you have any training suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

This evening while Mr. C was out making some church visits the kids and I played a game of Monopoly Jr. Usually I play the "banker", but Bookworm and Mickey Mouse have been taking turns lately. They both enjoy putting their math skills to work. We've spent a lot of evenings playing board games lately. Lil' Nut is big enough now to play along with us. Notice the thumb in her mouth; we're working on that. :)

My book and I are headed for a bubble bath. Multi-tasking! :)

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A Fabulous Find

One of my favorite things about blogging is being able to get all kinds of great ideas from other ladies. Kelli is someone I would just love to chat with over a cup of tea. Her posts are so encouraging, and the projects and crafts that she and her children create are things that even crafty-impaired people (like me) can do.

Imagine my delight when Kelli made her big announcement introducing Seasonal Delights Quarterly Magazine. I'm so excited that Kelli will be sharing all her great seasonal ideas with us in such a classy way. The best part of all: Kelli's new magazine is FREE! I've already downloaded the fall edition, and the girls and I are looking forward to browsing the pages together as we gear up for my favorite season. You can subscribe to Seasonal Delights by clicking here or by clicking the graphic at the top of this post.

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Fall Back Into Homeschooling Giveaway
Christina is hosting a "Fall Back Into Homeschooling" giveaway. Just look at all the fun stuff you can win!
Entries will be accepted until September 8. Check out the details here.

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Monday, September 03, 2007
Happy Labor Day!

Fall is just around the corner, and I'm so excited! It's my favorite season of the year. As soon as September rolls around I pull out my autumn decorations. Hopefully the weather will take note of the fact that the season is about to change. This past week we had over 5 inches of much needed rain. The shriveled up plants in the garden have been teased back to life. Yesterday we had a high temperature of 81 degrees. It was such a nice change from the low 100's we've been experiencing the last few weeks. Hopefully we're through with the scorching temperatures.

This morning I filled out and mailed our monthly homeschool attendence report, which is a requirement in our state. We've already completed four weeks of school.:) Even with taking last week off, I still feel ahead of the game. So far I'm very pleased with our decision to have year-around school. All of the children have been working so diligently on their lessons. The school portion of our day just seems to fly by.

This week I need to get caught up on some of my homekeeping tasks. In addition to my daily routine, here's my to-do list.

* Tackle a mile-high pile of ironing.
* Organize the little girls' room. It looks like a bomb went off in there.
* Print out new cards for the kids' ChorePacks.
* Put all of the suitcases in the attic.
* Host our monthly ladies' missionary fellowship at church.
* Write out birthday/anniversary cards for the month of September.
* Plan for Mr. C's upcoming birthday.
* Take a load of "stuff" to the local thrift store.
* Get my box of fall decorations from the attic and put the summer decorations away.
* Display my fall goodies. There's no way I'm waiting until September 23 to decorate for fall. :)

Looks like a busy week! I'm also gearing up for a new year of Patch the Pirate Club at our church. I received my box full of supplies over the weekend, and I'm looking forward to our children's program starting back up. I'll sure miss listening to Mr. C's Bible teaching on Wednesday nights. I'm planning on listening to a CD of the service while I do my weekly ironing. Multi-tasking is a good thing.

Since we just had a mini-vacation, we're still having school today in spite of the holiday. Perhaps we'll plan a picnic lunch in the garden if it's not too hot. I hope you all enjoy your day and have a wonderful, productive week!


Saturday, September 01, 2007
Give me a life of simple things
Not measured by silver and gold;
The joy of children 'round my knee
To lock in my gold memory fold.

Never let me take for granted
The beauty of a crimson rose;
Let me ever enjoy the view
Of golden grain as it grows.

Let me enjoy the loveliness
Of a robin on the wing;
And the echoing soun from the steeple
As the church bell gently rings.

Keep me ever midnful
That God sends refreshing rain;
And help me to remember
He'll send the sunshine again.

If I would list the simple things,
I think there'd be no end;
There's encouragement when lonely
And the handclasp of a faithful friend.

There's something very precious
In the things you cannot buy;
For they can be enjoyed by all
If we're not so busy they pass us by.

Yes, give me a life of simple things
My loved one next to my side;
Happy children around my knee
And I'll be satisfied.

~Ruth H. Underhill

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