Riverbend Ramblings

~Riverbend Ramblings~
The days are long, but the years are short.
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Saturday, December 22, 2007

We're heading "home" to spend time with family, so I won't be posting for the next several days. I hope you all have a very blessed Christmas!

Graphic found here.


Friday, December 21, 2007
Fall Reading Challenge Wrap-Up
Katrina at Callapiddar Days hosted the Fall Into Reading 2007 challenge. In the midst of wrapping up gifts, I need to wrap up my fall reading list. :)

A Lady of High Regard by Tracie Peterson Acts Dispensationally Considered by C. R. Stam (I've read 1/3 of it.) 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 (This is a re-read.) 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

How did I do? As you can see, I didn’t finish all of the books on my original list. I had a little problem. I read 9 others books during this time period that weren’t on my list, and that doesn’t even begin to count all of the reading I do with my kids each day! When I get on the library’s waiting list for a particular book, it sometimes takes months for me to get it. Fortunately (or unfortunately for the books I was planning on reading for the challenge) a few books I signed up for arrived much earlier than expected, so I had to quickly get them read and returned to the library. Also, I have a good friend who gets a lot of wonderful books and shares them with me. I always read them right away and try to get them back to her before I forget that I have them.

Best book/Worst book The book I enjoyed the most from my fall list was The Five Love Languages of Children. I have read a slew of parenting books, and this one by far has helped me the most in terms of understanding what makes each of my children tick. I catch myself in situations on a daily basis with each child where I’m reminded of their particular “love language.” This book was such an eye-opener! I’m keeping it on my nightstand indefinitely and highly recommend it. The worst book I read this fall wasn’t even on my list. I started a book that I’d seen on tons of book lists. Since it was written by a secular author, I should have done a little research before I checked it out at the library. A few pages in, I felt that heaviness come over me, and I knew that it wasn’t a book that I should be reading. I closed the book and promptly returned it to the library. Ladies, we really must guard our eyes and minds! What did I learn from this challenge? As you can see by looking at my list, I read more fiction than non-fiction. Most of the other books I read that weren’t on my list were fiction, too. I think that I read fiction books as a way to relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Sometimes I don’t want to analyze what I’m reading, hence the neglect of non-fiction. Now, I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with recreational reading; however, I do believe it’s wrong to let reading (or any other hobby) cause me to neglect my priorities—God, husband, children, home. Sometimes I am guilty in this area. I have recently scheduled more time into my day for Bible reading, which is the most important reading any of us will ever do. That has cut down some on my other reading, but God’s word is life-changing and vital in my daily walk with Him. I plan on finishing up my list in the next few weeks. I’ll just carry the unread books over to the next challenge.

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Monday, December 17, 2007
Weekend Review
Our family had a nice weekend together. The children spent most of Saturday playing and putting on a Christmas program for Daddy and me. They made their own costumes, and Bookworm wrote their script and read the Bible verses. Lil' Nut started out as the angel but decided that she didn't want a speaking part, so she switched outfits with Curly Girl and played Mary instead. Mickey didn't want to participate, so he sat with us and watched the girls. I think the whole baby doll thing ruined it for him. :)
On Sunday our church choir performed a selection of Christmas songs focusing on our Saviour, and several of the children sang carols and recited poems and Bible verses. Mickey and Curly Girl were shepherds, and Bookworm and Lil' Nut were angels. I was a little bit worried that Lil' Nut would act like a nut during her part of the program, but she truly was a little angel. Since I was up singing in the choir, I didn't get to take any pictures, but the kids did a fabulous job.

Mr. C preached a great salvation message after the choir's presentation, and a young woman walked the aisle and trusted Christ as her Saviour. We have been praying for this lady and her fiance for several months. I had the priviledge of sharing scriptures with her and leading her to the Lord. It just made my day!

Sunday afternoon I took a much needed nap and spent a few minutes outside with the dogs. After several days of warm weather, I was so surprised to find this lovely camilla blooming on one of the garden bushes.

Unfortunately, I don't think this pretty little flower will last very long. This morning Dewey's water bowl was filled with a big ice cube, and tonight's low is forecast to be 23 degrees.

We're expecting company tomorrow. I love having company, but between homeschooling and tidying up the house, I'm worn out tonight. I think I'll curl up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy looking at the lights on the Christmas tree.

ETA: Well, it looks like somebody already claimed my spot!

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DVD Contest Winner
Congratulations to Missy! If you'll please email me your shipping information, I'll pass it along to Vision Forum so that they can get your DVD in the mail. Thanks so much to all of you who participated, and thanks to my hubby for drawing the winning comment number for me. :) BTW, today is the last day for free guaranteed shipping on order of $75 or more from Vision Forum, so if you still have last-minute gifts to purchase, click on the Vision Forum button in my sidebar.


Friday, December 14, 2007
Vision Forum Giveaway
Vision Forum offers so many wonderful items for the family.

This week I'm giving away a copy of The League of Grateful Sons on DVD. The League of Grateful Sons traces the godly legacy of the fathers who faught in World War II. This DVD would be a great addition to your home library.

Just leave me a comment, and you'll be entered to win. If you don't have a blog, be sure to leave your email address so that I have a way to contact you if you win. The contest will close at 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 15.

***The contest is now closed. I'll announce the winner on Monday.***


Monday, December 10, 2007
Yesterday we started our revival with Evangelist Brian McBride. I just love to hear the McBride family sing together. It give me glory bumps listening to them! We were excited to have visitors in both the morning and evening services. We'll be having services Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night at 7:00. For those of you who live within driving distance, we'd love to have you join us. You can email me (in the sidebar) for directions to the church.

Since my kids have spent the last two weeks playing hookey in Florida, you'd think that I'd have them hitting the books today. Not so.

After a few weeks of temps in the 30's at night, today my thermometer says it's 80 degrees. The kids must have brought the heat back home with them. Instead of a "snow day", we're having a "sun day" (a/k/a/ Mommy-needs-to-get-caught-up-day).

The kids have been climbing trees, playing in the leaves, and romping with the dogs and cat. I went out one time to take them a drink and saw this.
Lil' Nut's car seat had been sitting next to one of our vehicles waiting to be switched to another one. She apparently hauled it to the edge of the woods and decided it would make a great rocking chair. I had to grab my camera and get a picture of her before I gently told her that the nice car seat couldn't stay in the woods. :)

While my children have been getting some sunshine, I've been unpacking their suitcases and ironing clothes. The grandmas sent them home with clean clothes, so thankfully I haven't had 5 tons of laundry to contend with. The unpacking and putting away is enough to do me in.

Nightly church services mean our afternoon routine changes a bit. We'll start bath time and eat supper earlier than we usually do. I'm going to go sit down on the back porch for a few minutes with something cool to drink and read a chapter or two from a new book I picked up from the library while I regroup for the rest of the day. I've been able to cross a few books off of my fall reading list, but I only have a few more days left to finish up. I'm not sure that I'll make it, but I'll just roll the ones I haven't read yet over to my winter reading list.

My computer time will be limited this week, so I won't be commenting as much on my "daily reads". I hope you all have a wonderful Monday.


Friday, December 07, 2007
Together Again
All my babies are home, and my heart is full. Here's a picture of them just moments after they met Dewey for the first time. Life is good.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dewey spent quite a while on the back porch today sunning himself next to our little "welcome" snowman. He must have sat there like a statue for at least 30 minutes. He cracks me up.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Dawg Gone It!
I had so much fun reading all of your guesses about this picture. Some of you thought I was having a really bad day, and some of you thought we were going to get a puppy for Christmas. With six people, a dog, and a cat living in our house, do you really think we need another pet?

Well, apparently my darling husband thought we did. :)

The cute little dog in my last post is not our new dog. But, it looks a lot like the newest member of our family. If it were up to me, we would not have added another pet to our home. However, my hubby's eyes lit up like a little kid on Christmas morning the first time he saw this dog. I think he had tears in his eyes. I have such a wonderful, loving husband; how in the world could I deny him a chance to have the dog of his dreams?

Meet Dewey the Dawg.

He's smiling--really, he is.

Dewey is a 5 year old pure blooded English bulldog. These dogs are expensive around here (you know--the GEORGIA BULLDOGS) and usually sell for $1,000-$2,000. Dewey has been "fixed", and we have adopted him from a doggie foster family. He didn't cost us anything, unless you count the zillion pounds of dog food we had to buy. Did I mention he weighs 90 pounds? I'm not kidding. He's going on a diet!

Dewey is just hilarious! He is very smart and acts like he knows exactly what you're saying to him. When he eats, he sounds like a dinosaur; or at least what I think a dinosaur would sound like. If he hears the word "treat" he comes running to catch it. I think he swallows it whole. And the snoring! I have always been happy that I married a man who doesn't snore. Well, you can hear Dewey snoring all the way across the house!

Although Dewey is house trained, the plan is for him to be an outside dog. We have a large fenced dog run with a big dog house just perfect for him. It's in the 30's here at night right now, so Mr. C wants Dewey to stay inside until the weather warms up. He's actually very well-behaved and loving, so I don't mind him being inside.

Buddy the schnauzer and Sassy the cat are not sure what has invaded their home. Buddy has been barking at Dewey all day, and Sassy just peeks at him from time to time. I think that if we put Buddy and Dewey outside together for a couple of hours Buddy will get over his anxiety. Dewey is very friendly to Buddy and Sassy. Hopefully they'll adjust in the next few days.

Our children, who are still in Florida, don't have a clue about Dewey. They are going to be so surprised when they get home and see him. The family Dewey lived with had several children, and Dewey just loved to snuggle and play with them. I think Dewey is going to fit in just great in our family.

For those of you Florida people who read my blog and will see my kids in the next few days let me warn you: NOT A WORD about Dewey!!! They will be coming home at the end of the week--I can't wait!

And yes, Mom, I know exactly what you're thinking. :)

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Monday, December 03, 2007
I'm Back!

Can you believe that December is already here? The last couple of weeks have just flown by for me. I've enjoyed my blogging break, but I'm ready to make the rounds and catch up with all of you. :)

We enjoyed spending Thanksgiving with loved ones in Florida. The only downside to our trip was the horrible traffic on the way home. It took us 10 hours to make what is usually a 7 hour drive. I actually enjoyed the long ride home. It was just me and my hubby in the car--we left all of our darling children in Florida!!! We couldn't deny the grandparents some extra time with the kiddos.

I have been so spoiled by Mr. C the last few days. He has taken me out to eat several times. He treated me to a steak dinner at a very upscale restaurant that we would never go to with four little munchkins. :) He even rented a few of my favorite chick-flick DVDs for me to enjoy without interruption. What a guy!

Although I love my children dearly and am missing them very much, I have so enjoyed having some quality time with my husband. I am sometimes guilty of having my attention focused on so many different things at one time that I neglect to focus on cultivating my relationship with my hubby. With our busy home and schedules, planning quality time for just the two of us is challenging, but it is so very important!

Today I have some light housekeeping tasks to tend to. I've been able to go several days without doing any laundry since the kids have been gone, but today I want to put fresh sheets on their beds and freshen up their rooms a bit. I have started putting up our Christmas decorations, but we haven't yet tackled the tree. My goal is to have it up before the kids get home.

***If you've read this far, I want you to take a big guess what you think the picture at the top of this post means. I'm not giving any hints, except to say that it's not a self-portrait.

Have a wonderful week!