Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day At The Zoo & A 'lil Shopping....

Ashley, David, and I were all getting cabin fever, so we decided to head into the city yesterday. Despite the hot temps, we visited the local zoo and did a little school shopping!
I even managed to find a few really good bargains, too! :)

This little zoo has been around for as long as I can remember. (Although under a different name and I suppose owner.) The last time we visited, was on a Preschool Field trip when Ashley was 3. (David has never been.)
Ashley is the little girl in the middle...Oh, where does the time go???

David going in the entrance...

We were greeted by a beautiful parrot!

Once Ashley convinced the zebra, her "striped accessories" were only faux, he was quite a friendly guy! :)

The giraffe had no interest in being seen, he was too busy licking the barn!

Turtles Galore....

Now how do these turtles rest in this position??? I was impressed! LOL!

As for the rest of the animals....we arrived at the Zoo around noon, and guess what time the animals must take their naps???....around noon! Or maybe the heat was just getting to them! It was pretty tough! Anyway, the remainder of the tour was spent watching the animals sleep! :)

The King of the Jungle, royal slumber....

"Speedy," the Tortoise and the Hare.....asleep...

Even the squirrels came down from the tree, and were stretched out flat.... fast sleep...

The bear resting his head on the side of his pool!

The white tiger was awake, but he wasn't a happy camper!

Even though the animals were "not very active," we did enjoy our visit. The zoo is small and quaint, and the animals were beautiful!

As we were cooling down in the gift shop and browsing, a woman and her daughter came through, frantic!!! They were right behind us on the tour, and she seemed calm and okay when we were outside. .....The lady and her daughter had gone to the bathroom, and when they walked in, there was a snake inside! She told the gift shop attendant, who didn't seem phased at all....and replied, "Well, it is a zoo!" Time for me to go!

The kids and I did a little school shopping and thrifting after!

I found the starfish at the Goodwill for $1.09. The zoo gift shop had one identical for $6.

We went to Marshall's, to look for bookbags and shoes. Ashley and David did find a pair of shoes each, ......popular name brands, marked at half the suggested retail! WooooHoooo!

They were having a huge storewide clearance sale, and I treated myself to this decorative bird box....

Not sure it will stay here, but it works for now! :)

And my super find for the day....A Kasper Sunday suit, retail price $240.00, for only $29.99!

And another Big Lots deal.... a black and white damask pillow!

Here's hoping the summer temps are not too hard on you!

See you tomorrow for Pearl's Unbirthday Party! ~Rhonda

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shortly after Ashley was born, one of the nurses at her pediatrician's office gave birth to a precious baby boy. Fourteen years later, her name has escaped my memory. But I can see her full well in my mind, and remember her sweet, bubbly personality, that was infectious! She was a beautiful person, both inside and out. When I met her, I felt a sudden kinship with her, partly because our children were so close in age. Three months after her son was born, her first child also, she died of an aggressive form of cervical cancer. She was diagnosed in the latter months of her pregnancy, but didn't want to risk the effects of any treatments on her unborn child. So she did nothing, ...but give her son life, as the disease took hers very quickly. I think this was the first completely senseless, unfair death that I really encountered. Not to say that any death is fair, or makes sense. But the thoughts of that small, precious boy that would never know his mother, just seemed so cruel and unjust.

The years, have brought about many more senseless acts and suffering I can't explain, that have left me wondering, WHY? I could fill the pages of this blog, with national and personal tragedies, beyond our control and our understanding. I am sure you all could. My biggest question of all being, Why do bad things happen to the good and innocent??? This seems to be a question that has weighed heavy on my heart in the last few weeks. Not to say that I doubt the sovereignty of God, or do not have faith in His perfect Will. And I know that dwelling on such thoughts, proves fruitless, because I could never begin to understand the mind of God. Nor do I think I really want to. I know that His purposes and reasoning are so beyond my understanding, as a mere mortal woman. ..."Lean not on your own understanding," Proverbs 3:5. It is such an assurance to know, as Paul expressed in 1 Corinthians 2, that when I get to Heaven and meet Jesus face to face, it will all make sense. I can't wait to sit at the feet of Jesus and talk with him, ....I'm sure I will be in that one place for quite awhile! "smiles"

Sunday in church, the choir sang, "We'll Understand it Better By and By." I love this song and it seemed to go coincide with my thoughts, of late. But the hymn I would like to highlight today is, "It is Well With My Soul," written by Horatio Spafford , in 1873. This beautiful song was penned by Spafford after great tribulation in his own life, and yet he wrote.....

"When peace like a river, attendeth my way;
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."

My aunt passed along to me, Dr. James Dobson's Newsletter, from July. I would like to share some excerpts from it. They were particularly encouraging to me, and hope they will be to you as well....

"Clearly, the scripture tells us that we lack the capacity to grasp God's infinite mind or the way He intervenes in our lives. ....there will be times in every person's life when circumstances don't add up - when God doesn't appear to make sense." Remember what God tells us in His own words, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts," Isaiah 55:9. "There is nothing wrong with trying to understand, but we must not lean on our ability to comprehend, ....our trust in Him must be independent of our understanding." And, "when you think about it, there is comfort in that approach to life's trials and tribulations. We are relieved of the responsibility of trying to figure them out. It is enough to acknowledge that God makes sense even when He doesn't (seem to) make sense." (from "Family News From Dr. James Dobson/Focus on the Family" ~ July 2008)

Why? I certainly don't have the answers, but I serve a God who does, and trust that He is always in control of each and every situation, no matter how senseless and unjust they may seem! I leave you with these encouraging words....

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all." Psalms 34:17-19

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand." Isaiah 41:10
I'm so excited to have Pearl, at Pearl's Sentimental Journey, join
"Encouraging Words Wednesday", today! "smiles"
I encourage you to go over and visit her!
If you would like to join me any Wednesday, please let me know, and I will provide a link to you!

Blessings to You, on this Wednesday! ~Rhonda :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just Call Us the Partridge Family...

Between the soaring temperatures, and David's limited activities, (We are down to a small arm brace now! "smiles") ......"i.e. NO water sports"...there hasn't been alot to keep the kids occupied!

Except Rock Band, on the Playstation 2....

This Summer, we have turned into a regular ole' Partridge Family!

"Hello world, here's a song that we're singing..."

David ~ a.k.a. David Cassidy

Please, excuse his messy room! He can't clean his room, his arm is hurt you know, but he can play Rock Band all day! woohoo!

Big Finale...

There's Ashley ~ a.k.a Laurie, on the drums....trying to flee from the picture. She hasn't had time yet to "get beautiful" for the day!

And not to be left out, here's Coco ~ a.k.a. Tiger, with a drum stick...

No Coco, you are supposed to play them, not eat them!

Played hard and now he is all tuckered only 10 a.m., LOL!

David has pictures of Elvis on his wall.

Wonder if all this guitar and drum playing would make the original King of Rock n' Roll proud???

I suppose I could grab a tambourine, and be "Shirley,"

and we could take this gig on the road!

....If we can just get the bus rolling again!

"C'mon get happy!"
Any volunteers for the road crew? LOL!

~Rhonda :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pink Saturday Post ~ Christmas In July...

My how the week flies by! Before you know it, here we are once again for Pink Saturday! ...united in pink girl power!

Today, I would like to bring you a little Christmas July!
But, First of all, I would like to wish our host, Beverly, at How Sweet the Sound,
a Very Happy Birthday! "smiles"

Several weekends ago, my family and I traveled to Calabash, NC, for a little world famous Seafood. While we were there, we browsed through a local gift shop, that features a year-around extensive Christmas Shop!

I found the perfect pink Christmas ornament! This beauty represents a very worthwhile cause, indeed, but was a little steep for me in price...$70.00.

In case you are wondering if I accidentally typed too many zeroes...nope, you read right...$70 bucks!

This ornament makes me want to bring out my pink maracas!
Pink accented Can-Can Girl mixed among other pretties...

Pink and Yellow theme Christmas Tree...

Just a little more Christmas decor....

Frou-Frou Girl...

This isn't a very clear shot, I was trying to be inconspicuous. I didn't want to get embarrassed, in case someone reprimanded me for taking pictures... There wasn't a sign forbidding them, but you never know! LOL!

The Christmas Tree is perched atop a bird bath...How neat is that?

At 100 degree temps, it is much too hot to think about Christmas, but I do wish you lots of PINK cheer on this fine PINK Saturday! ~Rhonda :)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine,..." Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Welcoming Miss Cali...

As your host, I would like to extend to you a warm "Welcome" to Heather's Online Baby Shower!
As Jo, pointed out in her post, do take a moment to go by and read "Heather's Letter to dear, unborn Calista" will bless your heart! :)

Pearl is spreading pink cheer with confetti,

as Heidi ushers everyone in, to celebrate a brand new precious life....

Miss Calista Kay

Here is a list of our guests in attendance:

Nikki ~ The Scarlet Rose Garden; Dot ~ Picket's Place; Pearl ~ Pearl's Sentimental Journey; Sheila ~ Note Songs; Brenda Kula ~ The Brenda Blog; Cindy ~ Only Me Here/Just Another Day in Paradise; Marie ~ Watch the Wind Blow By; Heidi Ann ~ Foxgloves, Fabric, and Folly; Debbie ~ Ribbonwood Cottage; Diane ~ A Picture is Worth a 1,ooo Words; Jo ~ To a Pretty Life

I encourage you to visit each participant and see their beautiful contributions!

We can't start the shower without something special for the "Mother-to-be"....

Nikki could you do the honors, and crown our Queen Bee!

(Doesn't Mrs. Nikki look pretty, in her hydrangea dress, ...perfect for the occasion!)

And how about a cute little Corsage...

Debbie, Would you please pin this on Heather?

We can't forget the Big Sister, Bella & the Big Brother, Kyle...

What is a party with out decorations? ....Beautiful Roses for the Food Table....

Polka Dot Arrangements for the guest tables...

Brenda, these look like they came out of your beautiful garden!
Precious "Diaper Cake" for the Gift Table...

Please help yourself to our tasty "pink" refreshments...
Sheila, Could you be a sweetie, and cut the cake??? :)

Big Brother, Kyle & Big Sister, Bella deserve their very own pretty little cake...

Ohhhh, "Dot, and I are squealing with delight!!!"

...A tower of chocolate cupcakes!

"Pink" Strawberry Souffle, with slivers of berries that look like sweet bunny ears...

Don't forget to try one of Diane's delicious sandwiches!

Or a lovely lemon custard...

Time to open the Presents....

Marie and Jo, could you pass around the gifts?

Cindy, have you got the camera ready for pictures? :)

These made me think of LeAnn, Cute little Cowgirl socks.. Sweet little Memory Box (Girls, I secretly think we could make one of these? "smiles")

Every little girl is a princess...

"Little girls dance their way into your heart, whirling on the tips of angel wings, scattering gold dust and kisses in our paths." Author unknown

Lucky for Cali she has a Big Sister, to teach her how to be a Princess!
Bella needs her very own princess attire, of course...

Pink Piggy for College Savings...

And since this a "Virtual Shower," and I have "virtual money" to spend that has no limits, I suppose....

I found this beautiful furniture dressed in Heather's favorite, toile bedding...

(I'll even throw in the fabulous chandelier...)

Shower favors for each guest?

Putting together this Baby Shower, for my very dear friend, Heather, has been so much fun!

...I'm so glad you could all join in the festivities,

and a heart~felt "Thanks," to each you who participated!

"Little girls are a precious gift, wrapped in love serene. Their dresses tied with sashes and futures tied with dreams." ~Anonymous


Dear little one, Calista, It is my prayer that God may richly bless you, and keep you always in his tender loving care! ~hugs, Rhonda


Sources:, Martha Stewart Online, and Tinytots Collectables Online