Riverbend Ramblings

~Riverbend Ramblings~
The days are long, but the years are short.
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Friday, June 28, 2013
Friday's Fave Five ~ 6.28.13

It's hard to believe that we've already reached the end of June. I've really been enjoying our summer so far. The kids have had a nice mix of activities and relaxation. Here are a few blessings from this week.

1. Steven started planting pineapple crowns about two and a half years ago. The first one he planted has finally produced a new pineapple. It should be ready to pick in another week or two. I'll let you know how it tastes.

2. I got to spend some time with my mom. We spent a day shopping together and had a lot of fun. She also took some of the kids shopping another day. Bryn found a cute Vera Bradley purse and matching I.D. case on clearance.

3. I helped out in our church nursery on Wednesday night. It was fun getting to love on those cute little babies. The nursery is getting a facelift this summer. I will try to share some pictures of it soon.

4. Hope got a good report from the orthodontist yesterday. She's had to wear headgear for the last six months, and at her appointment last month he said that she would be in her headgear another five or six months. Now he says it will only be another five weeks. She will be so happy if that's the case. She has done a super job wearing that contraption faithfully every night.

5. We were a little late trimming back our crepe myrtles this spring, but I noticed that they are now in bloom. I prefer shades of pink and purple, but the white blossoms are pretty, too.

You can link up and share your favorites over at Susanne's. Have a great weekend!


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Thursday, June 27, 2013
Beautiful Morning

My hubby sent me these pictures he took early this morning. He's fishing over on the east coast today. Just lovely!



Friday, June 21, 2013
Friday's Fave Five ~ 6.21.13

It was pretty quiet at my house this week. The girls were all at our church's youth camp. Hope and Bryn were campers, and Shay was a junior counselor. Case was happy to have the house (and all the ice cream in the freezer) to himself. Here are five of my favorites from the week.

1. I'm thankful that the girls had a great week at camp. They made lots of fun memories and came home spiritually encouraged. Hope had a little incident one day during the tube pull and slightly imbedded her braces in her cheek for a minute, but she's a tough cookie and is doing fine now. Bug bites and sunburn are all part of the experience. I'm also thankful for the volunteers who help make our camp such a great one.

2. Peace and quiet. I missed the girls, but they are NOISY!

3. A trip to the salon. There's nothing like a good color and cut to brighten your week.

3. Date night involved filet, lobster, and a sweet potato. A bit of a splurge, but it was worth it.

4. It rained just about every day this week. Some parts of the country have had severe storms, but we've been blessed. One morning it was already 81 degrees when I got up at 5:30. The evening showers cool things off just a tiny bit.

5. I had time to tackle a few projects this week. The three girls share a bedroom and a closet. The closet is a monster. It gives me nightmares. I save everything and pass it down to the next girl. The girls don't wear a lot of the clothes in the closet because they can't even see what's in there. I took everything out, sorted it, and then put back in the essentials. I have five huge trash bags filled with clothes and shoes to donate to the local thrift shop on my next trip to town. After removing all the excess, they each still have plenty to wear. Here are before and after pictures.

Now that I can see the floor in the girls' room, I'm off to shampoo the carpet. I hope you all have a great weekend! You can link up with Susanne and share your favorites from the week here.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013
Big Birds
These Sandhill cranes took their time crossing my path while I was trying to exit a parking lot. I don't think they understand "move!" or "hurry up!". They have one speed: s-l-o-w. So, I sat there for a minute and enjoyed watching them.

We have quite a few of these wading birds in our area. They are beautiful, but they can also be a nuisance when you are clipping down the road and, suddenly, there's one right in front of your vehicle. It's no wonder that they are a threatened species in Florida. They are large, I guess around 4-5 feet tall when fully grown, and they make an amazing trumpeting call. It's pretty neat to see them flap their large wings and take off.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
I don't get emotional over blog posts very often, but I've been teary-eyed after reading Ann Voskamp's last couple of posts.

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Sometimes you just need a different perspective.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Special Men
I was a bad mom on Father' Day. I completely forgot to take pictures of the kids with their dad and his dad. I actually did remember, but it was in the middle of the 11:00 service while my husband was preaching. Not such a good time for a photo op, and then it never crossed my mind again.

We did something special this year at our church to honor dads. Each person was asked to bring a picture of their dad to display on the walls around the back of the auditorium. It was so much fun to look at all of the pictures and try to figure out who was related to whom. Here are a couple of the displays along with some grainy copies of the pictures I put up.

This is my dad holding me when I was a chubby little baby. I've always called him Papa. He's 79 years old now and lives in northern Florida. The kids and I got to talk with him on the phone on Father's Day.

My Grandpa Smith (my dad's dad) passed away a few months after I graduated high school. I spent a lot of time with him during my teenage years. He would let me drive his Jeep around the pasture while he put out hay for the cows. This picture was taken in front of the cow pens on our property. (Where is my shirt??!!) He was a sweet, sweet man.

My Grandad Hartt (my mom's dad) battled cancer and passed away in 1983 when I was seven. He trusted Christ as his Saviour not too long before that. I wasn't around him very often, but I remember watching wrestling or boxing on T.V. with him when we would visit him.

I don't think that most dads get the same attention showered on them for Father's Day that we ladies get on Mother's Day. I have to admit that I am guilty in this area and need to do a better job letting our family's special men know how much we love and appreciate them. I am very thankful for the great men who have had an influence on my life, and my kids are blessed to have a dad who loves them and takes such good care of them.
June 2012

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Friday, June 14, 2013
Friday's Fave Five ~ 6.14.13
We've had a good week. It seemed to just fly by. I'll be spending the weekend getting Hope and Bryn packed for a week at camp. Here are five of my favorites from this week:

1. Today is Flag Day in the U.S., which commemorates the adoption of our flag in 1777 by the Second Continental Congress. Many of the homes in our neighborhood will have their American flags flying today. I love to see Old Glory wave! When I look at the flag, I think of patriotism, freedom, sacrifice, and triumph. Today is also the birthday of the U.S. Army.

2. More rain. I think it's rained every afternoon this week, but I'm definitely not complaining. The grass looks so green, and I'm thankful for a bit of relief from the heat. It's been in the low 90's the last few days. Whew!

3. We went to the park on Wednesday. I'm going to try to plan a park/library day each week during the summer. We'll have to go early enough to beat the heat.

4. Fresh, seedless watermelon - delicious!

5. Steven and I had a date at one of our favorite restaurants and ordered a yummy brownie sundae for dessert. It was HUGE, but we didn't have any trouble devouring it. Who cares about calories? (Maybe that's why I've had a hard time fitting into my skirts lately.)

You can link up and share your favorites from the week here.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013
My First Mass
Yesterday Steven and I attended a funeral service for the mother of one of our church members. Actually, it was a funeral mass. It was the very first time that either of us had ever been inside a Catholic church. What a new experience!

There was quite a large crowd gathered to honor the life of the 92-year-old woman who had passed away, but only a small group seemed to be of the Catholic faith. The majority of people there were just as unsure of the protocol for a funeral mass as we were and, unfortunately, we somehow didn't pick up the order of service as we entered. That would have been helpful. We just sat in a pew near the back and took it all in.

The music was beautiful, the organist talented, and the priest eloquent. He spoke highly of this well-loved, generous, and joyful lady. He also prayed for the dead and went through many other rituals. He said that this dear lady was "now beginning her journey to be with her heavenly Father," and that, "hopefully, she will soon cross that great sea to be with God." Those words didn't seem very comforting to me because they lack assurance. For those of us who are in Christ Jesus, our journey is complete the moment we pass from this earthly existence.
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.  II Corinthians 5:6-8
My purpose is not to debate the tenants of Catholicism. There are some very good people who are Catholic, but that doesn't mean that they (or any other religious person) are going to heaven when they die just because they adhere to a set of rules. God's word, the Bible, doesn't tell us to follow a pope or confess our sins to a priest. God's word doesn't tell us to pray for the dead or pray to idols.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  I Timothy 2:5
You might be a good Catholic reading these words right now, but maybe you've never heard the wonderful news that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for all of your sins and reconcile you to God. It's not something that you have to wonder about and fret over; you can know for sure.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.  I John 5:13
The Bible tells us that we all have sinned and that, because we have sinned, we deserve death. God provided a way for us to escape eternal death when His Son, Jesus Christ, willingly died on the cross to make the payment for our sins.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  Romans 3:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Romans 6:23
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8
Being religious doesn't get us into heaven. Going to church, giving money to help others, or getting baptized doesn't save a person's soul. Our salvation is found in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. We have to put our faith and trust in Him alone and not in the good works that we do.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.  Romans 4:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  Titus 3:5
You can know for sure that you will spend eternity in heaven with the Lord.
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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Romans 10:9-10, 13
That 92-year-old woman did just what these verses told her to do. Just over a year ago she realized that if she could do enough good things to get her into heaven, there would not have been a reason for Jesus Christ to die on the cross. She put her faith and trust in Him. She didn't need a priest to pray her into heaven at her funeral; she was already there with her Saviour.

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Friday, June 07, 2013
Friday's Fave Five

1. We've had some much-needed rain due to tropical storm Andrea but, thankfully, no wind damage.

2. School's out for the summer!! We've let the kids be night owls and sleep in as late as they want the last couple of days, but come Monday that's going to change.

3. We took the kids bowling to celebrate the last day of school. The bowling alley is running specials throughout the summer. It's a great indoor activity to beat the summer heat.

4. Our neighbor went blueberry picking at a farm down the road and shared a huge container of blueberries with us. The berries are a little bit tart, but still sweet enough to enjoy.

5. While cleaning out one of my cluttered desk drawers, I stumbled upon a forgotten department store gift card. It had just enough credit left on it to buy Case a new package of underwear. (Yes, he actually gets excited about new socks and underwear.) Don't you just love unexpected blessings?

You can link up and share your favorites from the week here.



Thursday, June 06, 2013
Raring to Go

Last December I decided that it was time for me to step away from blogging for a while. I quit reading blogs for the most part, too. I started blogging during the last millennium - 2006 to be precise - and I guess I just finally got tired of it. Some of you reading this have been blogging for as long or even longer than I have been. Maybe you've gone through a similar phase.

Social media has changed so much since I started this blog. Back in 2006, Facebook and Twitter were itty bitty babies. We weren't "pinning" anything but the slits in our skirts. Blogging was the best way to keep in touch with far-away friends and family, and after our family moved from Florida to Georgia, Riverbend Ramblings became my online journal. I starting reading blogs written by like-minded women and formed friendships with a few of them. I got to "know" their families and pets, celebrated milestones with them, and prayed for them when they went through difficult times. Many of those women are no longer blogging. Now it seems like most of the blogs I read are driven by advertisements and are filled with beautiful pictures of perfect homes and DIY projects. It's just a lot different than it used to be. I think that discouraged me a little bit. I missed my little group of blogging buddies, lost interest, and stepped away.

I'm still hoping that some of the gals that were in my little circle will start writing again. I've kept them in my feed reader just in case. But I'm not blogging for them; I'm blogging for me. This week marks the seven year anniversary of my first blog post. Here's the picture I used for my very first blog header.

Those babies aren't babies anymore. Bookworm is begging for her driver's permit, Mickey Mouse is looking less like a boy and more like a man, Curly Girl is almost as tall as I am, and Lil' Nut can outrun us all. The many memories on these pages are priceless.

So, I'm back. I'm over my slump and raring to go. And I hope you'll join me on the next leg of this amazing journey.


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