Riverbend Ramblings

~Riverbend Ramblings~
The days are long, but the years are short.
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Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Simple Pleasures

Look what I stumbled upon while perusing the shelves at the local library! Just the perfect book to enjoy while relaxing in a rocking chair on the front porch. :)


Monday, April 28, 2008
Where Have I Been?
Right here at home, just away from the computer. What started out to be a short blogging break unintentionally turned into a longer one. My days, like many of yours, have been very full! Caring for my home and family is a full-time job. While I enjoy blogging, it just hasn't been a priority for me lately. God has given me plenty to keep me occupied. I remember during the summer when I was a kid I would mope around and say, "I'm bored!" Well, now that I'm all grown up I certainly am never bored!

We've been staying on track with our school lessons. My precious redhead has gone from hating to read to actually enjoying it. For you mothers out there who have a child who struggles with reading, take heart! One day it will just click. One morning this past week I caught him snuggled up on the couch next to Curly Girl "teaching" her how to read. His version of teaching involved having her repeat every word he read. It was cute while it lasted. ;)

Lil' Nut has a new hobby--coloring! She is no longer scribbling on her worksheet pages and enjoys coloring while I'm working with one of the bigger kids on their lessons.
Bookworm has been working hard on her piano pieces for her upcoming spring recital. One of these days I'm going to upload a video of her playing the piano for you to enjoy. Her music blesses my heart!

We've all been spending a lot of time outdoors each afternoon. The weather here has been glorious, although this morning we woke up to some much-needed rain. My recently potted flowers sure needed a nice, big drink. ;)
Mr. C has been working meticulously on our yard. We have an acre lot, and about half of it was professionally landscaped when the house was built. Landscaping makes for a beautiful view, but it also creates a lot of hard work! Everything has come together so nicely, though, and I think that our yard looks the best it's ever looked.

Our most recent major project has involved our pond. Whoever originally built it didn't do the best job in the world. The liner was way to small for the size of the pond, and the whole thing ended up being a big mess. Since we wanted the job done right, we hired it out. :) The man who is doing the work has a full-time job and has been working on our pond on his days off. The only thing left to do is haul in a load of red pea gravel. Here's a picture I took on Saturday. It's kind of grainy because of the window screen, but you can see the pond guy working in the upper right hand corner. I am looking forward to sitting outside on the swing and live-blogging from the garden real soon. :)

In anticipation of another busy week, I'm keeping the comments turned off. Although I do enjoy hearing from readers, moderating comments takes more time than I have to dedicate to it right now. I do check my email each day, so those of you wishing to chat are welcome to contact me through the link in the sidebar. Have a blessed week!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm going to take a blogging break for the rest of the week, and the comments feature will be disabled. Everything is fine, there's just an awful lot on my plate right now. I'll check back in next week. :)
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Free Pizza, Anyone?

My friend Jodi reminded me that it is time to sign up for Pizza Hut's Book It! reading program for the 2008-2009 school year.

The school I used to teach at participated in this great program, and our family has enjoyed it as well since it is also open to homeschoolers. My kids love books (I wonder where they get it from?), and the offer of a free pizza inspires them to log their pages.

Registration for the program is fast and easy. Go here to enroll.


Monday, April 14, 2008
Not Your Typical Monday
We usually move at a slower pace on Mondays; not so today! This morning Mr. C supervised the kids as they worked on their lessons while I headed to town to run a couple of important errands. Every time there is an extra trip to town I bemoan the gas that is being used and the dollars that are floating out the exhaust pipe. Looking on the bright side I'm thankful for a safe, dependable vehicle and the money to buy the needed gas.

School work was finished by lunchtime. I spent the afternoon working on some needed tidying up both inside and out while the kids played together.

Mr. C spent his day off working in the yard. Living next door to a forest means that we always have a lot of leaves in our yard. He raked the remanining dead leaves from the flower beds and put out 14 bags of mulch. Those 14 bags didn't even seem to touch the tip of the iceberg, but the mulched area looks so nice now!

My handsome hubby made a trip late this afternoon to pick up another truckload of mulch. Hopefully this will be all that we need to finish up the front side of the house.

Our pond is in need of major repair. When the original owners installed the liner, they used one that was too small and really stretched it out. Over the last few years the liner has deteriorated to the point where the whole thing now needs to be replaced. We're hoping to have the pond looking lovely again in the near future.
While my handsome hubby worked in the front yard, I helped out by spreading pine straw around the back side of the house.

There was one bail left to start on the area around the schoolhouse. We need about 15 more bails to finish the rest of the beds. Having grown up in Florida surrounded by pine trees I never thought I would see the day that we would pay good money for pine straw!

Dewey spent the afternoon supervising the yardwork. He is such a sweet dog!

After finishing up in the yard I headed back inside to work. I thoroughly swept the wood floors and then mopped them. They will look bright and shiny...for a couple of days. It doesn't take long for six people and three pets to track footprints and dirt into the house.

I have finally grown tired of the bunnies and the other spring decorations that have been displayed thoughout the house for the last several weeks. Most all of them have now been boxed up. I now have just a few simple things on the mantle and foyer table. The simple look is much easier on the eyes.

Our entertainment center also got a good dusting and all the videos were staightened up. Usually this job belongs to one of the kids, but today it needed a thorough cleaning.

The dining room was decluttered as well. I added this cute birdhouse table runner that I recently picked up at a yard sale for $2. Don't you just love a bargain?

My least pleasant task of the day was cleaning the toilets. This is usually Mickey's job (his future wife will thank me), but I felt like getting it done quickly while on this marathon cleaning spree.

Lest you think that I am a super-organized, got-it-all-together girl, don't be fooled. I didn't do any individual teaching today or spend time playing with my kiddos. I did spend the evening enjoying their company and reading Farmer Boy to them. Days like this aren't the norm for us. You'll also notice that there are no pictures of tidy bedrooms being posted. That's the next thing on my to-do list. Maybe I should put up some pictures of them in their current condition for some accountablility...or not!

Unfortunately, by the time all of the rooms are picture perfect, it's time to start all over again. But I really don't want a spotless house; that would mean that my children don't live here. :)

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Saturday, April 12, 2008
Our Week In Review
I have been very quite here on the blog this week and very busy around our home. We had a full week of school lessons, met with our homeschool group at the playground one afternoon, worked in the yard, and completed the planned spring cleaning tasks.
We've had nice weather the last few days. The kids have enjoyed playing outside in the afternoons without their jackets. The winter things were put up in the attic just a bit too soon; it's supposed to be in the 30's the next couple of nights!

I didn't take many pictures of our activities this week, but there are a few to share.

One day after a rain shower Mr. C found a baby turtle and gave it to the kids to play with. Curly Girl loves little critters and was disappointed to not be able to put it in our pond, which is currently undergoing a facelift.

Mickey discovered a baby snake slithering in the woods. He and Curly Girl took turns carrying it around.

Bookworm treated her sisters to a "spa day". She styled their hair and painted their toenails. Since we didn't have any cucumbers on hand, she improvised a bit so that they could have an eyelid refresher. Notice the artwork taped to their eyes. :)

I spent most of my free time working around the house (hence the lack of blogging). One afternoon I tackled cleaning out my dry goods pantry. I removed the contents, removed and washed the shelving, and then replaced the goods. I was surprised to see how many processed foods were in the pantry. While I enjoy cooking from scratch, I do keep a lot of extra things on hand for when I'm in a pinch. After taking inventory of what exactly was in the pantry, I realized that there is enough food on hand to last us quite a while.

The next few weeks I plan on only purchasing dairy items and fresh produce at the grocery store and using up my pantry supply. I have enough vegetables and meat in the freezer to last a while, and then there's always Mr. C's deer meat, too. :) This week's shopping trip only required 2 gallons of milk, 10 pounds of apples, 4 pounds of grapes, 4 pounds of bananas, 4 pounds of pears, carrots, celery, and 4 boxes of cereal. I usually pick up a bit more produce halfway through the week.

I am looking forward to seeing how creative I can be with our menus and also save some $$ over the next few weeks. My Suburban will be eating most of the savings, as right now it's costing right at $100 for a full tank of gas. :(

Preparations for Sunday are almost complete. My church tote is by the door and everyone's clothes are ironed. I am looking forward to seeing the sweet kids in my Sunday school class and hearing some great preaching tomorrow. I hope you have a wonderful Lord's Day!

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Monday, April 07, 2008
A New Week
Happy Monday! I woke up early this morning ready to face a new week. We were gone so much during the month of March and most of last week, so I still haven't gotten all of my spring cleaning done. This week I'll be focusing on some household projects that cannot be put off any longer. I think that my list will be more manageable if I focus on one major task each day. Here's what, Lord-willing, I hope to accomplish:

Monday: Pack up all of our winter clothes and put them in the attic.
Tuesday: Organize dresser drawers and closets.
Wednesday: Deep clean the bathrooms.
Thursday: Reorganize the kitchen pantry.
Friday: Deep clean the refrigerator.

On the homeschool front, all of the kids are doing well. This has been our first year schooling year-round. It has really worked well for us so far. I plan on continuing with lessons until the second week of June, then we'll take off for a couple of weeks. We should have everything wrapped up mid-summer. Of course, I'll be holding those plans loosely like Cheryl gently admonishes us to do! :)

I'm off to wake my little blessings with a kiss and a song. I'll leave you with a picture of them taken at church yesterday. The wind was really blowing, and you can tell that Curly Girl had a case of the giggles. How blessed I am!

Bookworm, Mickey, Curly Girl, Lil' Nut

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Friday, April 04, 2008
Oprah's New Age Cult
I John 4:1-6 1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5) They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6) We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
I watched the following video today (HT to Amy). I sat staring at the computer screen with my mouth wide open. I am saddened to think of the millions of women, even born-again Christians, who are glued to their televisions each day hanging on Oprah's every word. Some may argue that Oprah has done so many wonderful things for people around the world. While that may be true, right now she is pointing people around the world to hell. Wake up, Ladies! Get your answers to life's questions from the Bible, not from the gospel according to Ms. Winfrey!! There is only one way to heaven.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6
Salvation requires belief.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9 (my emphasis)
Anyone can receive the gift of salvation.
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13 (my emphasis)
***I'm posting this video for those of you who have heard about Oprah's New Age course but haven't seen any footage of it. There are many other clips on YouTube. As always, use discretion when browsing.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Thank you all so much your prayers for my father-in-law. Praise the Lord, he was released from the hospital today and is now resting at home! We're still not sure what caused this sudden illness or when and if it will return. There may be more tests in the coming days. I'll be heading home soon. Thankfully home is just 7 hours away. I have much to do when I get home, so I'll check in again in a few days. P.S. It is 89 degrees here today. Now I remember why we moved away from Florida!

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