Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflections

2009 is at an end today and I took a little time to go back to the old blog and through old posts on this one and remember the highs and lows that made up life in 2009.
Starting with the low's so we end on a high note...
Low points of 2009:
~struggling through my Masters work and losing touch with everyone in the process
~starting the year with Kevin away at John 3:16 (kind of a high and a low)
~Kevin's Grandmother passing away
~losing my cousin's wife to cancer
~facing reality after John 3:16 Ministries
~being broke!!
~saying good-bye to my sweet boxer boy, Jax

High's of 2009:
~getting married to my best friend!
~going to St. Lucia on our honeymoon
~starting a business
~scrapbook retreat weekend (lots of laughs)
~reception at John 3:16 with tons of family and friends
~camping trips
~Bible studies
~finding and joining Indian Springs Baptist Church
~getting Stella
~rescuing Rex and fostering his brother
~surviving my internship
~finishing my Masters (finally!!)
~getting back involved with BoxAR Rescue (just as a volunteer this time around - not as a board member!)
~getting an awesome sister-in-law (I've always wanted a sister!)
~deciding to try having a family of our own (scary!)
~finally understanding that a relationship with God is the key to a happy life!

Many more high's than low's! Wonder what 2010 will bring??

I love this!

I know you've probably all seen this more than once but this video makes me smile everytime...this was just genious! I love it!!!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rewind one more time...Christmas Day

We will call this ...the year Christmas went to the dogs! ha! Christmas afternoon was at my parents house. Kevin and I had a big Christmas morning breakfast and exchanged our presents. We did stocking stuffers this year and it was fun! One of mine was a Librarian action figure with amazing shushing action. Ha! We stuffed our stockings to the brim so there were other goodies too...and of course, Simba, Nala, Rex, and Stella all had stockings that Santa didn't forget to stuff. After all that fun, we piled the pups in the car and headed to Newport. Well, my mom has 3 inside dogs and my brother also travels with his dog....so, we had 6 dogs in the house for Christmas this year. And it went well! (Probably because their grandma got them all presents too so they wanted to be extra good for her! ha!) Here are my nieces trying to get all the dogs in one picture: Kevin had just woken up from a little Christmas Day nap! :-)
Love this picture of my Bubby's fam:
The girls were also super happy that they got a Wii this year...although, their daddy and grandpa took it over! LOL!
If you haven't figured it out yet, Kevin is a big kid! heehee!
Such good car riders and it is a good thing...what is normally a one and half hour drive was a two hour and twenty minute drive home because of flooding and the interstate still being closed. Then, the road they detoured us to was also flooded so traffic was completely stopped at times.
A good family day...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Rewind to...Christmas Eve

Some got snow for Christmas, but not us, we got a flood! This will be remembered as the Christmas we had to get creative about our routes to where we needed to be. We spend Christmas Eve with Kevin's family and that morning both the interstate and the highway leaving our house were closed due to flooding. Kevin had gone to the post office and he could get there but then it took him over an hour to get home!! The post office is 10 minutes away. So, we (or rather Kevin) had to get out the map and figure out how to get to his sister's house AROUND all the flooding. We made it...later than we had originally planned...but we made it. So far, it has just worked out where we have spent Christmas Eve with Kevin's side of the family and Christmas afternoon with my side of the family. Even better, the past two years we have met at Kevin's sister's which is 35 minutes away rather than the 3 hour drive to his parents place. I can't believe I used to make that drive on a regular basis to see Kevin!!! ha!

We had dinner and opened presents before the nephews had a full out fit! LOL! Teenagers are the same as 10 year old's when it comes to presents!! :-)

Kevin was surprised and thrilled with his new chef coat! Way to go sis!

Cash - our mascot for the evening!
Rhonda also got all of us girls a matching apron - all of Kevin's helpers now match!
All in all, a great Christmas Eve of family, fellowship, safe travels and some very desserts! :-)

Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom

*Book #19! :-)

Here's what I thought: If you read Tuesday's with Morrie, then you will like this book too. This was a short read and a "feel good" read for me. I do not dog-ear pages in books (must be that librarian in me - ha), but I did in this book. There were a few times when I stopped reading for a minute to let the words sink in. It was a definite change of pace from my normal mystery, edge of your seat kind of reads. But it was nice to read about real people and their journey. Have a Little Faith, to me, seemed to break down religon and show what we all have in common....faith, love and hope.

This is from the book jacket if you are interested: Albom's first nonfiction book since Tuesdays with Morrie, Have a Little Faith begins with an unusual request: an eighty-two-year-old rabbi from Albom's old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy.
Feeling unworthy, Albom insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he'd left years ago. Meanwhile, closer to his current home, Albom becomes involved with a Detroit pastor - a reformed drug dealer and convict - who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.
Moving between their worlds, Christian and Jewish, African-American and white, impoverished and well-to-do, Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi embacing itas death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat.
As America struggles with hard times and people turn more to their beliefs, Albom and the two men of God explore issues that preplex modern man: how to endure when difficult things happen; what heaven is; intermarriage; forgiveness; doubting God; and the importance of faith in trying times. Although the texts, prayers and histories are different, Albom recognizes a striking unity between the two worlds - and indeed, between beliefs everywhere.
Have a Little Faith is a book about a life's purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man's journey, but it is everyone's story.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Church Home

It's official! Big day for the Benson's ~ we now have a church to call home. We've been visiting off and on all summer. Then, in September, we started going every week. We decided to go to a Sunday night Explorers Bible Study class for 8 weeks and after the class decide for sure if this was the church for us. It was AWESOME to do that Bible study because the preacher, Brother Tom, sat in on the class and we were able to get to know him. He is such an approachable person and his messages each week get us fired up. I absolutely LOVE the praise team and even find myself singing along a little too loudly sometimes. (I can't carry a tune! ha) A few other bonuses: it is 7 minutes from our house rather than 2 hours to Batesville - ha! And, they are getting ready to start a Celebrate Recovery group that we hope to be involved in and help with. All in all a great day. My cheeks hurt from smiling after church and everyone welcoming us. We even went to eat lunch with our first couple friends from church. God is good ALL the time!!

**Christmas updates and pics coming. Had to get this date recorded!! In the past few days, I have gone backwards in the blog to read about where we were a year ago and in March when we got married. It reminded me the reason I blog is to record the events in our lives. This is our online journal. If you are reading, I am glad you are a part of it! :-)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!!

We wish everyone safe travels and a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday : Waiting on Santa


Run for Your Life by James Patterson

*Book #18 in my New Years Resolution to read more this year.

My opinion: If you haven't read James Patterson before, don't start with this one. I would rate this an average book. I have still not decided if I am going to like this new series. It is the second one in the series. I just don't think you can beat Alex Cross. That series keeps me on my toes and I can't put it down!

If you are interested in maybe reading it - which I guess I didn't sell you on too well - go here to read what it's about. And, if you are a fan of James Patterson, check out his website - www.jamespatterson.com)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Anyone hear snoring?

video

Rex cracks us up with his snoring...he gives Kevin a run for his money! ha!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Vacation is HERE!

Vacation finally arrived and we immediately started out in the car traveling...after work on Friday, we headed to Rector (a long drive with dogs in tow). Christmas with my Granny is always the weekend before Christmas and Kevin's parents live about 20 minutes away from her, so we made it one big family weekend. I admit that I wasn't looking forward to traveling with the pups (I mean, ladies, you know what I mean, that takes away from your vacation because it is more work!). The pups did good though after the first night of trying to figure out what to do without a doggie door....oh, and the fact that Rex completely bolted into the woods behind their house the first night. I was in my socks, so I had to run back inside for shoes and alert everyone that I had lost my dog. This was followed by a four person dog search with no flashlight at night in the COLD...but he came back....little turd spent the rest of the weekend on a leash!!
Kevin's momma had a yummy southern dinner ready for us Friday night and a fire going in the fireplace...heaven! I love a real fireplace!!! Then, Saturday, we went to my Granny's for a family day. Some of us played a domino game - Mexican train - lots of laughter and yelling! ha!
And, of course, we got the traditional family pics in too....here is my Bubby with my beautiful niece.... My immediate fam - Bubby, Dad, Mom, Autumn, me & Kevin :-)
Sunday we booked it back here for church Sunday morning...a GREAT weekend! Love vacations and family!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Found it!

You can all stop worrying...I found my Christmas spirit at Church this morning! What a service and definitely worth getting up at 5 am to make it back home for! :-) The music was awesome, the message gave me chills and the visual of the Christmas program of the nativity scene brought tears to my eyes. Kevin and I have resolved to read the Christmas story from the Bible every year on Christmas Eve to remind ourselves what the season is about. I think my problem this year was that I was caught up in the "holiday" and the pressures of having to buy presents when we really have no extra money to buy presents with...that zaps the fun out of giving really fast! But this morning, I was reminded that it isn't about the "holiday"....we are celebrating the birth of Christ!! That is something to get excited about! (And, as a bonus, for the nativity scene the Shepard's walked in a REAL sheep IN THE CHURCH!) Cool right? LOL!
Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I wonder...

why we stress ourselves around the holidays?
why can't we just enjoy them?
I wonder...
why do we feel pressure to BUY something for everyone?
why can't we just go to school tomorrow, have the party, and go home?
I wonder...
why can't we just call it what it is - CHRISTMAS break!?!
why people complain when they haven't contributed anything?
I wonder...
why my head is pounding?
why my husband feels the need to start conversations in the middle of the night?
I wonder...
where my Christmas spirit is hiding????

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: How I grade papers


The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

*Book #17 in my New Year's Resolution to read more.

My two cents: I always enjoy Nicholas Sparks for a light read in contrast to my regular mystery stuff. I really did get into this book, but the book jacket makes it sound cheesey and parts of it are predictable and cheesey. But, there are some twists I didn't see coming and characters that make you nervous. Of course, have your tissue ready during the last 3 or 4 chapters....I'm just saying....

From the jacket: Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, particularly her father....until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she and her younger brother spent the summer with him in North Carolina.
Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist, is living a quiet life in the beach town, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will be the centerpiece of a local church. Resentful and rebellious, Ronnie rejects all of his attempts to reach out to her and threatens to return to New York before the summer's end. But soon Ronnie meets Will, the town's local heartthrob, and the last person she thought she'd ever be attracted to. As Ronnie slowly lets her guard down, she finds herself falling deeply in love, opening herself up to the greatest happiness - and pain - that she has ever known.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To Grandma's House We Go....

Three cousins getting ready for Christmas... heehee!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Things to smile about

We had a lot to smile about this weekend. First we started Friday with Kevin being the grand prize winner in a trivia contest and winning .... drumroll ... FOUR 50 yard line tickets to the Liberty Bowl. Plus, a bunch of other stuff like tickets to a basketball game, shirts, hats, food passes to the buffet before the game, parking passes....he was one happy boy!! And, he had friends coming out of the woodwork! ha!

Saturday, we went to look at Christmas lights (it was a little drizzly so I think we'll try again on a better night) and Sunday, the pups cousin, Lucky, came over for a playdate. Look at those sweet faces ready to go to Grandma's for Christmas together! heehee!
Rex was one happy boy. He LOVES his cousin, Lucky. He even taught Lucky how to box! I thought this pic was cute because it looks like Rex is literally smiling!!

Check back tomorrow for a cute video - blogger would NOT cooperate and upload it tonight. urgh!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Please help if you can...

Most of you know that BoxAR Rescue is very near and dear to my heart. They are the rescue group that saved Rex from wondering the streets and gave our house a new boxer to love and spoil. Because of them, I have found laughter and a smile again every time I look at my boxer boy!! I know money is tight - especially here at the holidays, but BoxAR has experienced two losses today and have large vet bills that have accumulated from saving these dogs from abuse and neglect and trying to find them loving homes. Please consider sending them a donation of any amount. Even $10 would help...it all adds up!! You can donate by paypal on their website or mail a check. Checks can be mailed to BoxAR Rescue, 195 Haylea Lane, Ward, AR, 72176. If I am on your Christmas list as someone you need to shop for - then, a little card saying you donated to BoxAR in my name for Christmas is all I need! Here are the faces that were lost today by BoxAR and fortunately knew love at the end because of the awesome women in this group: Above is Connie...she went to the Rainbow Bridge last night. All of Jax's meds were donated to her but they weren't enough to get her well. Some of you donated in Jax's name when he went to the Rainbow Bridge in August and your money went to help more boxers like Connie. Lucky, for her, she was with Ms. Bonnie and knew the love of a gentle and kind person for the last of her days.
This sad boy was named Oliver and BoxAR rescued him on Thursday. He was so thin and weak that he could barely walk. Most people wouldn't touch him but BoxAR could see past the missing hair and gave him love for the last two days of his life. Oliver never made it to his forever home with a family to love him, but I know Jax is being a good boy in doggie heaven and welcoming all these BoxAR babies to play with him and Rocky.
BoxAR still has vet bills to cover for Oliver's intensive care the past few days. If you can, please help them out.
One other way to help out the many boxers still in BoxAR's care is to take your dog to Petsense in Searcy on Saturday the 19th for pictures with Santa. It's only $5 a picture and all the money goes directly to the dogs. Pictured below is one of the BoxAR babies looking for her forever home right now...Faye...you can learn more about her on the website. I have linked up the web addy at the beginning of this post and again here.
Once I was a lonely dog,
Just looking for a home.
I had no place to go,
No one to call my own.
I wandered up and down the streets,
in rain, in heat and snow.
I ate what ever I could find,
I was always on the go.
My skin would itch, my feet were sore,
My body ached with pain.
And no one stopped to give a pat
Or to gently say my name.
I never saw a loving glance,
I was always on the run.
For people thought that hurting me
was really lots of fun.
And then one day I heard a voice
So gentle, kind and sweet,
And arms so soft reached down to me
And took me off my feet.
"No one again will hurt you"
Was whispered in my ear.
"You'll have a home to call your own
where you will know no fear."
"You will be dry, you will be warm,
you'll have enough to eat
And rest assured that when you sleep,
your dreams will all be sweet."
I was afraid I must admit,
I've lived so long in fear.
I can't remember when I let
A human come so near.
And as she tended to my wounds
And bathed and brushed my fur
She told me 'bout the rescue group
And what it meant to her.
She said, "We are a circle,
A line that never ends.
And in the center there is you
protected by new friends."
"And all around you are
the ones that check the pounds.
And those that share their home
after you've been found."
"And all the other folk
are searching near and far
To find the perfect home for you,
where you can be a star."
She said, "There is a family,
that's waiting patiently,
and pretty soon we'll find them,
just you wait and see."
"And then they'll join our circle
they'll help to make it grow,
so there'll be room for more like you,
who have no place to go."
I waited very patiently,
The days they came and went.
Today's the day I thought,
my family will be sent.
Then just when I began to think
It wasn't meant to be,
there were people standing there
just gazing down at me.
I knew them in a heart beat,
I could tell they felt it too.
They said, "We have been waiting
for a special dog like you."
Now every night I say a prayer
to all the gods that be.
"Thank you for the life I live
and all you've given me.
But most of all protect the dogs
in the pound and on the street.
And send a Rescue Person
to lift them off their feet."
~Arlene Pace

Thursday, December 10, 2009

We need a nurse around here!

Seriously! Kevin had a scary accident yesterday. He was getting the meat off the smoker for a catering and the wind was blowing something fierce. Well, the wind caught the smoker door and blew it down and it hit him in the head. HARD! To give you an idea of how heavy this door is, I can't even lift it by myself. He said he dropped to one knee and threw up from the pain. He thought he was going to pass out but didn't. No knot but he definitely has a concussion. Luckily, his catering was at a medical place where a nurse could check him out. I admit to being scared and worried about him. He doesn't have health insurance (and before you all freak - we can't afford $600 a month to add him on mine and he can't get independent insurance so....), I talked to my school nurse and am keeping a close eye on him. He is finally able to rest and I made him come home from today's catering and go to sleep. If that would have hit him in the wrong spot, I don't even want to think about what could've happened...please pray that he doesn't have any trouble from this and just needs rest from a concussion.
And, I went to the doctor today and had 3 more "suspicious" moles removed. I don't even get nervous anymore I've had so many removed. But, I do need a nurse for the one on my back I can't reach cuz my nurse (and cook...hmmm...what's for dinner? ha!) is fast asleep!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Can't seem to find it...

My Christmas spirit that is...usually I have the house decorated by now and the shopping complete. I just started shopping yesterday AND just ordered my Christmas cards yesterday. Those are usually in the mail by now. What is the deal? Part of it could be having to put all the Christmas presents on a credit card just zaps the fun right out of it! Oh well, I know we aren't the only ones struggling. And, if starting a business was easy, everyone would be small business owners. This sacrificing is all going to be worth it. We aren't as bad off as some people out there...we are able to pay our bills. We just don't have any extra. I like to say we are living on love around here! HA! We are going to look at Christmas lights this weekend, maybe that will put me in the Christmas spirit - looking at Christmas lights and getting Christmas cards are my two favorite things of the season. Anyone have some motivation?

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's for the dogs...

Kevin was Santa at TSC yesterday...for the dogs (the BoxAR dogs)!! BoxAR raised almost $900 in two days, so it was worth it. Right Santa? It was nice seeing people I hadn't seen in awhile and meeting some new BoxAR members since I've been preoccupied with my master's and stepped away from helping. I am easing my way back in but don't plan to sit on the board this time around. It's all for the dogs... :-)
That's all you get picture wise...I think our Christmas card pic is coming from this batch. I am super behind in getting those this year! oops!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

Saturday was a BIG day! I gave my portfolio presentation at UCA for my Master's degree and am now officially FINISHED and have a Master's degree! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! And, as nervous as I was, my presentation went great. Well, once we got my flashdrive to work. I almost had a panic attack when the computer wouldn't recognize my flashdrive in any of the USB ports, but after a few nerve wracking minutes, all worked out. I cracked a joke, the audience laughed, I relaxed and I did my presentation like I was talking to a room full of people I knew...who knew I could do that? Not me! LOL!!
After my presentation, we had some family over for some Benson cooking and fellowship - a perfect way to celebrate getting my Master's degree and having my life back! woot!
My niece "trained" the pups all afternoon. They crashed as soon as she left. She had them worn out! ha!Poor Stella won't master jumping off the bed, so she was trapped for hours of Autumn torture! HA! She laid there with that hat on completely defeated! heehee! Finally, no more projects, homework or studying to keep us from doing whatever we want to do! Thanks for your patience honey! Love ya!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I love the UPS man!

My presents to myself for 4 1/2 years of working on Masters and finally being FINISHED arrived today!! Yippee!! So far, no one has a Christmas present but that's ok. Because I have a new laptop!!! Woot! Woot! This is what she looks like:
It's an hp dv6-1355dx blah, blah, blah....most importantly, she is pretty and has a 15.6" widescreen! ha! I love her already!!
As an added bonus (because it was Black Friday sales on-line and I got a steal), I got a new camera. Yipee!! A Kodak Easyshare (my fav brand) Z915. I didn't loose any of my zoom and it is not as wide as my previous easyshare so I can fit it in my back pocket when we go camping and hiking and stuff. Plus, I love the new viewing screen because it's bigger than my old one. I seem to have a thing for big screens! ha!

Don't forget to send me prayers and good thoughts Saturday morning as I present my portfolio to my professors. My last task and then I will officially have my Masters! yay!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Come on out!


Kevin and I will be there on Sunday and KEVIN IS SANTA! All you local folks with doggies, come on out and see us and help a boxer in need! All furkids need a Santa pic! :-)