Riverbend Ramblings

~Riverbend Ramblings~
The days are long, but the years are short.
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Friday, January 31, 2014
Friday's Fave Five ~ 1.31.14

Here we are at the end of the first month of 2014. I hope the next eleven months don't go by as quickly as January has! I'm ready to link up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and share some good things from my week.
1. Each year we have a very special "big day" at our church. We invite as many folks as we can and have a huge party on the football field after church with games, inflatables, and free food for everyone. The goal of this big day is to get the gospel out to as many people as possible. We had good weather, terrific volunteers, many visitors, and everyone (especially all the children) had so much fun. We had 3,219 in attendance on Anniversary Sunday, and, best of all, over 300 people trusted Christ as their Saviour. I was busy running around most of the morning, so I had a chance to snap one quick picture. This is the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade children's church. I think there were over 325 kids in this class alone, and we had classes for every age group all around the property. I'm thankful for our church!
2. While most of the South experienced bitter cold and even snow this week in areas that rarely get any, we were spared freezing temperatures here in central Florida. I read so many reports of people in Georgia, Alabama, and other states being stranded away from home and of children stuck on buses or in school buildings due to the weather. I cannot imagine how scary that would be. I'm glad that I have a warm house and a cozy bed to sleep in tonight.
3. Hope's basketball team won a game this week, and Hope scored two points! Her team is made up of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who were all first-time basketball players this year. A couple of months ago, the girls didn't know one end of the court from the other, but they have worked hard and have improved tremendously. Their coach has to be one of the most patient men on the planet. He had to start from scratch teaching them the basics, so he deserves a lot of credit for what the girls have accomplished. They have two games left, and then the season will be over.
4. All four of the kids made the Honor Roll at school. Bryn, Hope, and Shay all made straight A's, and Case had all A's and B's. We don't expect our kids to have perfect grades, but we do expect them to do their best. God blessed them all with good brains, and I'm glad they're using them.
5. Steven and I had a chance to visit several antique stores in a small town a little over an hour from where we live. As always, I was on the prowl for vintage Pyrex. Several stores had pieces that caught my eye, but the prices were ridiculous. I about fell over when I spotted an Ivy Chip & Dip set (with the holder) from 1964. It was the first chip & dip promotional set that I had come across. Ivy is not one of my favorite Pyrex patterns, but I think it looks pretty on the Cinderella bowls. The price was reasonable, but Steven had to talk me into buying it because it was still rather expensive. The vendor ended up giving us a ten percent discount, so I walked out the door with rare set to add to my collection and a smile on my face.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014
Photo Funnies
Need something to make you smile? Here are a couple of funny pictures for you on this cold, rainy January day.
Hope's teacher texted me this picture of answers she gave on her science test. The top pic shows the constellation Centaraus that Hope had to label. I guess she thought it looked like a dancing pony. Just below is an answer she wrote explaining eclipses. She drew a little cartoon of her answer. Her teacher got a chuckle out of it but told her to try not to write anything silly on her tests in the furture.
I stopped in the rain on my way into church last night to snap a pic of this orange cat. Looks like he/she wanted to join us for the mid-week service. Not happening.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Feels Like A Monday
With the kids off from school yesterday, today kind of feels like a Monday. I had a hard time remembering to put the garbage out this morning! When I woke up this morning, I discovered that the dog had gotten sick in the night. What a mess! I had to give him a bath before taking the kids to school. Not a fun start to the day, but thankfully Toby seems to be feeling better now. I'll be keeping an eye on him today.
Three of the kids went fishing with their grandpa yesterday. Unfortunately, they didn't catch any fish. They had quite the little adventure running out of gas, drifting to a neighbor's dock, and borrowing gas to get back home. Thankfully they weren't stranded out in the middle of the lake! They actually had a lot of fun, I think.

We have had the prettiest weather here the last couple of days. Right now the sun is shining, and there are even a few flowers blooming around the yard.
Cooler weather is supposed to move in tonight, so we'll see whether or not the flowers last a few more days. I think I'm going to get my boots out and wear them while it's cold. I'm sure January lows in the 30's and highs in the 50's sound pleasant to my Northern friends, but that's VERY cold for this Florida girl who is used to summer temps ten months out of the year. I hope you stay warm, wherever you are!

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Friday, January 17, 2014
Friday's Fave Five ~ 1.17.14
I'm linking up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story to share five favorites from this week. You can join us!
1. My son, Case, turned 14 this week. In the last few months he has really hit a growing spurt and is starting to look more like a young man and less like a boy. We took him out to eat at his favorite steakhouse for his birthday. He ordered a huge ribeye (since we only let him do that on his birthday) and ate the whole thing. I love my boy!
2. My mom's birthday is the same day as Case's. My mom is a wonderful lady, and I'm thankful for the love and support she has unconditionally given me my entire life. She's a terrific grandma, too!
3. Steven and I enjoyed a breakfast date and visited a few antique stores. We have fun searching for treasures together.
4. Hope and Case both had basketball games this week, and Case's team scored a victory. They have a young team and a first-year coach, so every win means a lot to them.
5. I started exercising regularly and changed the way I eat back in September. In the last four months, I've lost 15 pounds, and my PBF (percent body fat) is down 7%. I'm pretty much right where I need to be with my weight now, and I think I'm in the best shape I've been in since high school. Those 6 a.m. workouts are rough but so worth the effort.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Mid-Week Check-In
The last few days have been pretty busy ones for me. The kids had basketball games the last two nights, and yesterday I worked on a mail out for our church's upcoming Anniversary Sunday. The two oldest kids have semester exams for the next three days and get out of school at noon each day. Lots of running back and forth and back again.
I'm looking forward to spending today at home getting caught up on laundry and some detailed cleaning. A cold front is on its way, so I'm thinking pot roast for supper before we head to church tonight. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!


Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning
I was on my way home from the gym at daybreak and just had to pull off the road and take a quick photo as the light burst forth through the darkness. Such a beautiful sight to begin the day with; God's creation is breathtaking!
"And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." Colossians 1:17

Linking up with Weekly Photo Challenge


Friday, January 03, 2014
Friday's Fave Five ~ 1.3.14
One of my goals for 2014 is to be a better blogger, and I'm going to try my best to link up weekly with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and share some of my favorite moments. It's also a great opportunity for me to count my many blessings. You're invited to join us! You can find out all the details here.

1. A silly sighting. While walking through the grocery store one day, I spotted Mr. and Mrs. Claus. They apparently decided that they wanted to spend the rest of the winter in Florida instead of back at the North Pole. Santa looks worn out from making all those Christmas deliveries, doesn't he?
2. Some good friends of ours that live in Georgia were here visiting their family for the holidays, and we were able to get together with them one night. Curly Girl (on the right) had fun catching up with her buddy, Miss M.
3. We took a day trip to visit my dad, enjoyed driving through rural Florida, and stopped by a few antique stores on the way back home. Although there was heavy post-holiday traffic on the Interstate, we didn't come across any accidents or major backups. I'm thankful for safety on the road.
4. We rang in the new year at our church's watch night service. Each year on New Year's Eve we have a special time of food, fellowship, and testimonies. And, for once, we can honestly say that the church service lasted until midnight.
5. I think the best part of the week was just relaxing at home. The kids have been out of school for the last two weeks, and it's been so nice to have a break from the busyness of their normal routine. They have been able to sleep in every day, and I haven't felt like I'm running a taxi service. I love my kiddos! Here's a recent picture of them.
Case, Hope, Bryn, & Shay


Thursday, January 02, 2014
Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy
We've taken several day trips lately while the kids have been out of school. My dad and his wife live about two hours away, so we made the drive up to visit him earlier this week. We all went to a restaurant for lunch, and then we went to his house to visit for a few hours.
My four kids are my dad's youngest grandchildren. He will turn 80 next month, but he seems younger than that when he's around the kids.
Time spent with loved ones = JOY!
Linking up with Weekly Photo Challenge.

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Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Goals for the new year
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13 & 14

I am so ready for a brand new year! I've made a list of things that I'm going to try to do in 2014. I'm not going to share my whole list with you, but here are seven of my goals:

1. Spend more time in the Bible. I do my best to read God's word every day, but I don't always take the time to meditate on it and apply it to my life. I'm going to dig a little deeper this year.

2. Get rid of a lot of our stuff. We have too many things that we don't need or use. I've got a huge project planned to declutter our home, and I'll be doing a series of posts to track my progress.

3. Make more memories. Our family spends a lot of time together, but I have to admit that I'm not that creative when it comes to planning memorable moments. The kids are growing up quickly, and we only have a few years left with them at home. I've already started compiling a list of memory-making things for us to do together this year.

4. Encourage my family to eat quality food. I've gradually been getting away from eating processed foods myself, but it's a bit more challenging to get the kids to make healthy choices. We've already made some improvements with what they take to school for lunch each day, but I'm hoping to see them make better choices during those times when they are choosing their own food.

5. Step outside of my comfort zone. I always get nervous when I have to speak or sing in public or deal with a person about a difficult situation, so sometimes I shrink back from doing things that I really need to do. The Lord has been dealing with me in this area of my life, and I know that He will give me the confidence and peace I need.

6. Blog more. I've gotten really lazy with my posts over the last few years and have neglected to document chunks of our family's life. I've got a plan for this, too.

7. Take more photos--and actually get some of them developed. I take pictures and then keep them stored digitally. I think I will really enjoy getting more developed and holding the actual photos in my hand or framing them.

These are just a few things that I'm going to be working on in 2014. What goals do you have for the coming year?

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