Riverbend Ramblings

~Riverbend Ramblings~
The days are long, but the years are short.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008
O What A Beautiful Morning, O What A Beautiful Day
This morning as I was sitting at the table enjoying a delightful breakfast, which consisted of a blueberry bagel with cream cheese and a bowl of pink grapefruit sections, I happened to look out the window and just couldn't believe my eyes.

Snow flurries! I ran through the house calling all of the kids out onto the back porch. They began screaming, "Snow! Snow!" Of course, the flurries only lasted for a few minutes. I grabbed my camera, but all you can see in the picture below is a beautiful blue sky.

The snowflakes were quite a contrast to these lovely daffodils blooming in the garden. Just ignore the brown leaves and dead grass. :) I'm so ready for spring, but I was tickled to see the snow this morning. It's supposed to be in the low 20's tonight. We'll see how the poor daffodils fare.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Daily Life
I've been a busy bee and just haven't had the time or desire to blog the last several days. Keeping my priorities in line has been a priority of mine lately. :)

There are those who believe that a SAHM/SAHW sits around all day twiddling her thumbs. I am definitely one who would prove that theory wrong. There's never a dull moment in my life. Here's what I've been up to the last several days:
piano lessons
attending funerals for two of our church members
organizing and preparing food for funerals
running errands
preparing our tax return
dentist appointments for three of the children
planning a field trip for our local homeschool group
visiting the library
scheduling achievement tests

Today I spent the morning in the classroom and the afternoon in the dentist's chair. It's been over a month since I started on this perilous journey, and I'm so glad that my dental work is now complete. I was a brave girl and opted to not have my mouth numbed for the procedure. I would rather endure a couple of moments of pain than have a numb mouth for the rest of the day. It wasn't bad at all. Thankfully my mouth is happy once again. My checkbook, on the other hand, is now experiencing severe pain. Hopefully we'll be reimbursed by our health savings account in a couple of weeks. Those of you who have dental insurance, count your blessings!

Before I left for the dentist's office I prepared a chicken for the oven and left the cooking instructions for Mr. C. When I got back home, all I had to do was prepare a vegetable and some rice. While the rice was cooking I whipped up a batch of The Butler's Chocolate Chip Cookies. I decided to get a little arm exercise and used a good old spoon to stir the dough instead of letting my KitchenAid do all the work for me. I think it really does make a difference when the dough is stirred by hand. At least, to me, the cookies taste better.:)

I restocked my baking staples while the cookies were in the oven. It would never do to run out of cookie-making ingredients! I purchased these Tupperware containers last year. They were quite pricey (even on eBay), but they have been worth every penny. The containers are airtight and stack so nicely in the cabinet. I keep a measuring scoop in each one so that I don't have to fumble in a drawer every time I need an ingredient.
With such full days, no wonder blogging has taken a back seat! I'm sure that I'm not the only one who wonders if the days could possibly fly by any faster. It seems like Christmas was just a few days ago, yet March is quickly approaching. I'm ready for a little vacation, and I think I just might get one soon! I hope all of you have a productive week. :)


Thursday, February 21, 2008
A Masterpiece
This was the view from our front porch last night just a few minutes before the eclipse was complete. Bookworm was the only kiddo who could keep herself awake long enough to enjoy it with me. Did you get to see the eclipse?


Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Moon Gazing

Tonight the full moon will turn a delightful shade of red and possibly turquoise, too. It's a total lunar eclipse--the last one until 2010. Sky watchers in Europe, the Americas, parts of the Middle East, and Africa are favored for good views of the two-hour event.

I'll be watching at 10:26 EST. Hopefully I'll be able to get some good pictures. ;)

Maps, timetables, live webcasts

How to Photograph a Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipses for Beginners

Image from here.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Oh, Goody!

My heart flip-flopped this morning when I read an email that contained great news. I have been waiting patiently for my favorite clothing store Christopher & Banks to go online, and now they have! Of course, the selection isn't as great as it is in the store, but at least I don't have to drive 63 miles to shop now. Hopefully this will help some of my Canadian friends who don't have a store close by. Happy shopping, girls! :)


Monday, February 18, 2008
President's Day

The following poem was printed on the back of our church bulletin yesterday. Something to think about, especially in light of this year's Presidential elections. The last two stanzas really get me thinking. The "facts" in our history books are already so far removed from the truth. Just imagine what the future holds for our great nation, one which no longer looks to God as the final authority.

Our Heritage

The principles on which our nation stands
Laid down by dedicated hearts and hands,
Held fast by men of staunch integrity:
To these we cling with humble certainty.

Those men who fought and died to free mankind,
Left homes and loves and substance far behind;
No price could ever be affixed on these
Who sought not their own selves to flaunt or please.

And who can say what history books might show
If our forefathers did not seek to know
The wisdom that comes only from above
In leading men with justice and with love?

Each generation passes to the next
A heritage that solemnly reflects
A nation that had grass-roots in the sod
Of ablsolute dependence upon God.
~Georgia B.Adams


Saturday, February 16, 2008
Valentine Birthday Recap
Bookworm sends her thanks to those of you who left her special birthday greetings. She enjoys having her birthday fall on a holiday. It's like everyone is celebrating just for her. :)

My wonderful hubby had the table ready with Valentine cards and gifts for all of his girls. Mickey even had special cards to present to his sisters. I like to receive fresh flowers, but I have a practical side, too. Since flowers seem especially over-priced around Valentine's Day, I would rather have something that lasts. My hubby knows me well. Just look what he got me--new Vera Bradley goodies! I especially like the laptop bag.

After a breakfast of strawberry heart-shaped cupcakes (in honor of the birthday girl), I told the kids that we were going on a field trip. They were instantly excited and wanted to know where we were going. Since we're studying birds in science class, I told them we were going to the airport to observe the "big birds"--airplanes! The smile disappeared from Bookworm's face. She wasn't thrilled about driving 100 miles to look at planes on her birthday. In fact, there was quite a bit of complaining on the drive over. This wasn't the special day that she thought it would be.

You can just imagine the looks on the kids' faces when we pulled up near the baggage claim at the airport and saw Grandpa and Grandma standing there smiling. Screams errupted. Now the whole "let's go look at airplanes" thing made sense. How's THAT for a birthday surprise? My FIL had to attend the funeral of a preacher/friend, so the men headed off in one car while we girls headed to a very nice mall to do some shopping.

Bookworm got to choose a restaurant to eat lunch at. Of course, it just happens to be my favorite, too. I was well-behaved and didn't order any cheesecake since we were having our church's Valentine Banquet that night. The girls were thrilled to spend some time with their grandma.

Bookworm was serenaded with "Happy Birthday" by several of the servers, and the girls all enjoyed free ice cream sundaes.

The only drawback to our day was the drive home. The Atlanta highways are a giant parking lot during rush hour. We sat on the roads for hours. I am not used to driving in the Big City, so I was quite stresed by the time traffic finally started moving. Our Valentine Banquet was at 7:00. I pulled up in front of the door at 6:59. I didn't even have time to run home and freshen up. Lesson learned: stay out of Atlanta! :)

We had a wonderful time at the banquet. The food was delicious: chicken divan, pork tenderloin, fresh green beans, garlic mashed potatoes, squash casserole, strawberry salad, coconut cake, and peach cobbler. Mmmmm! We played a fun group game, and my FIL shared some thoughts on love. The highlight of the evening was a duet by Bookworm and her daddy. She sang "O My Darlin' Clementine" while he accompanied her with his guitar. Did you know that song has umpteen verses? She did a great job, and the folks enjoyed it.

Friday morning Mr. C's parents headed back to Florida bright and early. The kids were disappointed to see them go, but hopefully we'll be making a trip down next month. I think Bookworm's birthday turned out pretty well for her after all.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008
My Best Valentine Gift EVER

My first born is ten years old today. Here she is pictured with her long awaited American Girl doll, Elizabeth.
Happy Birthday, Bookworm! Welcome to life in the double digits. :)


Monday, February 11, 2008
Ultimate Love

I am blessed to have so many people in my life that love me. I don't deserve their love, but I'm so very thankful that I am loved despite my many shortcomings.

I know a love that surpasses all human love.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

I don't deserve God's love, but I'm so glad He gave His Son to pay the penalty for my sins.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Jesus showed the ultimate love when He died on the cross for your sins and for mine. God's love never fails, never hurts, never ends.

What can I give Him in return for the great love He has shown to me? I can give Him my life--all of it. Because He gave eternal life to me.


Friday, February 08, 2008
Zoo Day
Instead of celebrating Lil' Nut's birthday in the usual party fashion, we spent the day at the zoo. The weatherman said that it would be sunny with highs in the upper 70's. He lied. It was cool and rainy. We didn't mind. We had a fabulous time.

Have you heard the familiar homeschooling phrase, "We learn best in the nest"? Here are my little birdies sitting in a giant bird nest. :)

Lil' Nut and Mickey did a few of the activities in the giant treehouse. In this one, the kids pulled on the rope and looked inside of the bucket to see what everyday products are made from trees.

This is Ivan. He's over 40 years old. He's a silverback gorilla. We hung around to watch him eat. He wasn't the least bit interested in the apples the zookeeper tossed him. He just sat there.We bought the kids season 1 of Meerkat Manor on DVD for Christmas, which our whole family has really enjoyed. My hubby headed right for the meerkat exhibit when we arrived at the zoo. These little guys are a lot fatter than the ones in Africa. Must be because they don't have to work to get their food. The pandas sat around munching bamboo. What a life!

My red-headed panda. Isn't he handsome?

These two white rhinos kept butting heads. I think they were playing. Or flirting.

This lion looked like a statue, never moving an inch. He must think he's royalty, or maybe he's just lazy. I would probably just sit there, too, and stare back at all the people staring at me.Here's my gang at the end of the day. We were all a little wet from the rain but still having a great time.
The birthday girl was worn out from all the walking we did. She slept most of the way home.
Thank you for looking at pictures of our zoo day! :)

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008
$25 off at Vision Forum
Click on the graphic above to receive a special coupon offer from Vision Forum. The coupon enables you to save $25 off every purchase you make of $75 or more. You can use it as many times as you like between now and midnight Saturday, February 9. You might find just the right gift for Valentine's Day!


Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Baby Turns 4
The Baby

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Lil' Nut eating cupcakes this morning on her 4th birthday

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Monday, February 04, 2008
Odds n Ends
Happy Monday! I hope you all enjoyed the weekend. I mainly puttered around the house and worked on a few projects. Sunday's church services were a blessing. Sadly, many churches cancel their Sunday evening service so that people can sit at home and watch the Super Bowl. We'll never cancel ours for football. :) Every Sunday is a Super Sunday when you can hear great preaching and fellowship with other believers. I'm so thankful for the freedom I have to attend a Bible-believing church!

Tonight is our monthly ladies' fellowship at chuch. I've asked one of the ladies to give a devotional with a "love" theme. Mrs. M has been married over 40 years and is a very godly Titus 2 example. I'm looking forward to what she'll share.

All of the ladies bring a covered dish or two for our meal. I got out of having to cook for tonight by stocking up on some buy 1/get 1 free deals at the grocery store. A nice big shrimp platter is chilling in the fridge and will be a nice addition to all the home-cookin'.

Tomorrow is a very special day for our family. No, not because it's Super Tuesday (although I'll be at the polling place bright and early). You'll have to check back tomorrow and see what all the celebrating is about. :)

I still haven't heard from the winner of my giveaway, so I'll try to contact her again today. If I don't get a response, I'll select another random number and announce a new winner later this week. In other bloggy-news, two fellow bloggers have blessed me with the Excellent Blog Award.

Faith is someone that I "know" through blogging. She is a part time special education teacher in New York and has two daughters. She seems like such a sweet lady. ;)

Mommy, a homeschooling mom of three, is actually a friend of mine from Florida. She attended the Bible college (and met her husband) at our home church there. At one time she lived a couple of blocks from me. I used to see her pushing a stroller at an unbelievable pace past my house each day as she walked away the baby pounds. What an inspiration! :) She now lives in another Florida town, and I haven't seen her since our move to Georgia. Hopefully we'll be able to get together for a visit in the future. I'm looking forward to meeting her third child, Tiny Boy, one of these days.

Thank you both for thinking of me!

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Saturday, February 02, 2008
And the winner is...
Random Integer Generator Here are your random numbers: 55
Congratulations, Tyna! Thanks so much to everyone who entered my giveaway. I will do my best to visit each of the bloggers who participated here at Riverbend Ramblings within the next few weeks. :)


Bloggy Giveaways Carnival~Winter '08 Edition
**This post will remain at the top of the page until Saturday. Please scroll down for new posts.**


It's time for another Bloggy Giveaway Carnival hosted by the amazing Shannon.

In the spirit of passing along good reading material, I'm giving away a Christian fiction book entitled Letter Perfect by Cathy Marie Hake. I read this book a while back and enjoyed it. Here's a little bit about the book and author.

Book Description
If her own two feet don't end up tripping her, Ruth Caldwell's mouth is likely to get her into equal trouble. But Ruth has the best of intentions. Truly. It's just that her attempts to live up to her mother's expectations of how a lady should act have often yielded, well, less than impressive results. Josh McCain is speechless when he sees Ruth step off the stage in Folsom, California. Sure, it looks like she's been sleeping in her gown for the past week, but with a crown of riotous curls and those deep green eyes, she's certainly the most beautiful woman he's ever met. But Josh soon finds the sparks that fly upon Ruth's arrival aren't the romantic type. With her legitimate claims to an inheritance, the Broken P Ranch's future is suddenly precarious. And when Ruth's "accidents"-going beyond even her normal bumbling ways-seem to take a sinister turn, Josh must decide where his loyalties lie.

About the Author
CATHY MARIE HAKE is an award-winning author and has written or co-written more than twenty novels. She also works as a nurse and specializes in teaching Lamaze, breastfeeding, and baby care. She makes her home in Anaheim, California, with her husband, daughter, and son.

Giveaway Guidelines:
* Leave a comment on this post (one per person, please).
* Post about this giveaway on your blog and your name will be entered twice. Let me know you've linked in your comment.
* Non-bloggers can enter, too. Just leave an email address so I can contact you.
* I'll ship anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. :)
* The giveaway will close at 9:00 a.m. EST this Saturday.
* The winner will be announced at noon Saturday.

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