Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Randomness...

First, I am now the proud (and broke) owner of this most awesome and ridiculously expensive Dyson DC28 Animal bagless vacuum cleaner. I am too embarrassed to say how much I spent on a vacuum cleaner, but will say I have 18 months to pay for it AND got $90 off! LOL! It came highly recommended by several people and every website I found rated it #1 for people with pets. You would not BELIEVE the hair and dirt this bad boy sucked up already! Maybe this will help with Kevin's allergies!! (He is allergic to cats you know...) Second, you gotta take a minute and half and listen to this awesome video my cousin, Sandy sent to me today. Loved it! :-)




Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ramblings

No post last night...I was busy getting my report cards done because I refused to work over Spring Break. :-) And, the vacuum cleaner died yesterday, so I spent quite a bit of time on the computer researching vacuum's. I hate to admit that I might bite the bullet and pay more than I want for a vacuum and get the dyson that everyone is raving about. It was also top on the list with consumer reports for pet hair. And, we got plenty of that around here!!! ha!!
Here are the highlights of the past two days: vacuum dead, report cards done, Big Bear gone to the ministry = me trying to remember how to cook for myself (he has spoiled me, I know), slept with 2 dogs and 2 cats in the bed last night (not restful if you wondered), not 100% this morning myself, parked under a tree at work (BIG mistake as my car looks a team of birds sat above it and just bombed it all day!! ha!), came home to a crate full of diarrhea from poor Stella being sick and sitting in it all day (G.R.O.S.S.), cleaned up smelly mess and bathed one pitiful puppy. I mean, by all accounts I should be in a foul mood. But, I just sat by my pond and enjoyed my first ever tulips that I planted. I am back to loving my pond area. I fixed it back up over spring break and there will be serious trouble if the pups even think about messing with it again. The only eye sore is the fido-shock wire around it, but it is a necessary evil! :-)
Usually, I enjoy some time to myself when Big Bear goes somewhere for a day or two...but this time, I've missed him pretty much from the time he left. I'll be glad to see him when he gets home tonight! Hope the ministry gets the catering job he helped them bid on today!!
And, I hope you enjoyed my tulips as much as I did today! Now, here's hoping for a non-eventful tomorrow! ha!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

All vacations end eventually...

And Spring Break comes to an end...boo! But it was a good one!
House cleaned? check!
Garden tilled? check!
Fence around garden to keep dogs out? check!
Flowerbeds cleaned out? check!
New plants planted? check!
Fresh mulch in beds? (all but one!)
Pond back to normal? check!
Fun trip with husband? check!
Saw BFF twice!! Awesomeness!

Back to the real world tomorrow and start it off with an after school meeting!! Summer is just around the corner though....

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's been awhile...

...since the Benson's have gotten themselves in a pickle...so we were due. ha! We got up this morning all gung-ho to start our day working in the garden and flowerbeds. First we had to move the smoker out of the way, so we could pull the trailer in the back later loaded up with dirt and mulch. Sounds simple enough right? Well, we got stuck...IN THE FRONT YARD! Who can say ruts? Oh, but the laughs were worth it!! (Or at least I thought it was funny...pretty sure Kevin didn't) I had just showered and Kevin had me in the back of the truck jumping up and down...ladies, what does that do anyway? I don't know except get MUD in my hair and make me feel like a monkey! ha! The pups were trapped inside during this mess because we managed to get the smoker half way through the gate before we got stuck. So, there she was...stuck. No shutting the gates...hmmmm! What to do? All we were doing was digging deeper holes in the yard. And, if you are wondering, if we had a suburban or something bigger for Kevin to drive things like this wouldn't happen! ha!

After a phone call for help to Alan, our cousin and hero, we were pulled free from the mud in our own front yard. Now, men can be fussy about pictures of these events, so I snuck a picture through the front window! ha! Now, THAT's a truck! Thanks Alan!!After all the drama, I got busy on some yard work and puppy playing (Rex had a playdate today). Tomorrow is mulch for the flowerbeds and super soil for the garden. Maybe we will be adventure free...heehee!

PS. I love this picture of Rex I snapped today:

After hours of play, all the furkids hit the sack pretty hard....and I am about to do the same!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where we are...

No Benson baby-to-be again. This puts us at a year of trying and that means it is officially time for the infertility "stuff" with the doctor. FUN! I made my appointment today...April 12th is the day. We'll know more after that. What direction we take and what the plan is. I have to admit that I have always been afraid to admit I wanted kids for this very reason. The getting your hopes up only to find out it may not even be a possibility. And the truth is, we don't know if it is a possibility. None of us has any clue what God's plan is for our family. Anyway...I was ok today even though I let myself get excited because I was late. It wasn't hard until I called to make the doctor appointment. Really, the appointment people at this office have never been my favorite and today, quite frankly, they made me cry. I realize they deal with this stuff everyday and it is no big deal to them. But they aren't friendly even when you aren't going through something. But, I love the doctor, so I put up with the shortness of the appointment people.
My prayer request, actually requests, is ~
*Kevin be able to find an urologist for his testing without us having to file bankruptcy to do it (remember, he has no insurance....so leave all negative health care comments to yourself! ha! We happen to like Obama!)
*I not cry through my consultation appointment.
*For God to guide us and show us His will and plan throughout this journey.
*IF there is a fertility issue with one of us, let it be me and not Kevin. I can carry that burden and don't want him to have to.

I will keep you posted as we know things. We do have one more chance to get it right on our own before the appointment. Ha! That would keep us from having to charge a baby! :-)

I do love the emails and comments from those of you that have been through this journey yourself. It helps to hear from those that truly get it. I don't readily just bust out and talk about this topic because I do have a great support group and some days are better than others. I can tell you this though - two worst things you can do when someone is trying to get pregnant - 1. ask them when you see them if they are pregnant (trust me, we will tell you!!) 2. buy or give them baby things (umm...not good...put it up until later, then it will be so much more special!) **The asking if someone is pregnant and turns out they just put on a little weight goes without saying...ha!

Ok...I got off track and am rambling...we are grateful for your prayers and are trusting God to take care of us.
Much love,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Clean Up Day

Today was an outside day...love being outside working in my flowerbeds and I just came in...ended the day with my Bible study out by the fire I built. Ahhhh!!! I had a helper all day today to make things easier: She would help me carry the sticks to the pile...only problem was she wouldn't LEAVE them there! ha! Cheap chew toys though!!
And the damage from today's work...yes, I am ashamed of just how bad my flowerbeds were...that's why I am downsizing by one. Then, I'll only have 3 in the back and 2 in the front. heehee!
You know I love a good bonfire...perfect end to today! I think tomorrow I will be rained in and forced to clean this pit of a house. Boo!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Break (so far)

We are HOME!! And, I need Spring Break to SLOW DOWN! :) We took a few days road trip for our anniversary, but before we left, we started Spring Break with a little garden tilling (note the helper? ha), hitting some yard sales (found some great scrapbook stuff), and cleaning out a few flowerbeds...then we hit the road and headed straight into a blizzard. Arkansas weather is nuts if you didn't know! Our first stop was NW Arkansas to my BFF, Michelle's, house. This picture was taken the day after we arrived. I should have taken a picture of what we were driving in while they were getting a foot, yes, a foot!, of snow!! But, I was a nervous wreck driving in the blinding white mess, so no picture. The next day, temperatures were in the 60's, so it started melting pretty fast.
Best part of this stop was sharing my BFF with Kevin and him loving Chris and Michelle as much as I do. They are family to me and I wish we lived closer!! I needed more time in that nursery!! ha! Look at this cute bedding that Michelle found at Target:We spent the majority of our nursery working time folding all the clothes that people have given her...amazing the amount of clothes this little guy already has. This is only a very small portion:After visiting and eating some good food, it was time to head to our next stop ~ Branson. We took back roads there and enjoyed the Arkansas scenery. Remember, we are old souls. ha! Leisurely road trips is a favorite past time of ours. And, check out this awesome one lane bridge we stumbled upon:
Arkansas really is a pretty state. We were on some winding roads and by the time we got to Branson, the temperatures were no longer snow boots and sweatshirts. ha!
Somehow I didn't take any pictures in Branson. But, Branson can be summed up as bargain shopping (we both love a bargain and refrained from buying anything that wasn't), good food and quality time with my best friend in the world. Seriously, I practically stole a skirt from Old Navy, it was such a bargain! ha!
Now, the best part of our trip...where we did not go for the bargain...was in the food. Let me relive it:
Marketplace Grill in Conway (jambalaya pasta), Olive Garden (calamari), Krispy Kreme (enough said), Atlanta Bread Company (great sandwich!!), Landry's (best, best, best crab cake ever and house salad rocked!), Cakes & Creams (real meringue), and Cantina Laredo (spinach enchilada's). And, we had fudge from the Fudge Factory and stopped for fresh Arkansas apples and strawberries on the way home! ha!
What will tomorrow bring??? heehee!
Hope you missed me...my puppies sure did! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's been a YEAR! (tomorrow)

I have spent this week just reflecting back over the past year. And, I realized tonight during Bible study that we are walking in answered prayer every day. It has been a year of highs and a year of lows. Life is made up of ups and downs. We've made some good decisions and we've made some bad ones. The BEST one we've made is putting God as first in our marriage!
Tomorrow is our one year anniversary and I praise God for guiding our paths back to each other!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kevin's Testimony

In honor of today being the one year anniversary of Kevin's graduation from John 3:16 Ministries, I am posting his testimony that he wrote this weekend for the Ministries newsletter. We will forever support John 3:16 Ministries for putting our relationship back together and bringing us both closer to God.
From Kevin:
I remember being fascinated by alcohol at an early age. I grew up in a Christian home and alcohol was never around. At business functions, or parties, it always seemed like the drinkers were the ones having all the fun, and I wondered why my parents didn’t want to be a part of it. I suppose I thought of it as the forbidden fruit.
I had my first drink in the 6th grade, and began drinking most weekends by the 9th. Throughout High School I was drinking pretty regularly, but you would have never known it. I was the “all-American” boy. I played sports, was an honor student and attended church every time the doors were open. I was a kid that parents wanted their daughters to date. From the outside, no one could have ever suspected the turmoil my life was headed into.
During college, I became a 7 day-a-week drinker. It helped me relax in certain social settings, and I felt I needed it to talk to girls. My life revolved around fraternity, bars, sporting events, and booze. For a while after college I was able to keep good jobs, but eventually my work started slipping, and I lost a couple jobs to what I would later realize were addictive behaviors. But I was smart. I just needed to do something I loved for a living. So I opened a bar and grill. 2 years later, I was broke, divorced, and entering my 2nd alcohol rehabilitation center.
That’s when Lori came into the picture. She and I grew up in a small church together in Newport. We even dated in High School. She was my first love. We stayed close friends in college and kept in contact up until the last few years while I had been in my addiction. We fell in love and talked of marriage and kids, but I was still drinking. She began to learn all my tricks. I started getting caught and my drinking was tearing us apart. Finally, in September 2008, I got my second DWI while driving company vehicle. I lost my job & Lori that night. Once again, I was broke, drunk, and nowhere to go.
That next day we found John 3:16, and I visited that next Sunday. That first Sunday I was a wreck. I don’t remember much about the service, just that the Holy Spirit was calling back. I gave my will and my life that day to Jesus Christ. During my 6 months at John 3:16, I took to heart all the things I had learned as a boy, but never applied. I have made life-long Christian friends. I learned what it meant to have a savior and Lord of my Life. Most importantly, I learned how to live victoriously through Christ, and I owe it to Him to help this ministry in any way possible.
Jesus used John 3:16 to heal my body, mind, and my soul, but I am not the only person who received healing from John 3:16. Lori saw a change in me that she knew was real. She began growing in her faith and just like me has renewed her salvation in Jesus. Friends and neighbors have drawn faith in Jesus as a result of the changes He’s made in my life. Even my parents have drawn closer to the Lord as a result of my time at the ministry. That’s what John 3:16 Ministries does. They take the sick & hurting family and give them a Father, Husband, and Son full of peace and hope in Jesus. John 3:16 Ministries is called “A Spiritual Boot camp for Men with Addictions,” but it’s also a place of hope and healing for families in need.
I graduated from John 3:16 March 15, 2009. Lori and I were married 4 days later under the crosses. We have such a wonderful relationship. One I could have never imagined between a man and a woman before I allowed God to work in my life. We have started a catering business and hope to start a family soon. We are blessed every single day. We also make mistakes every day, but we’ve learned to repent and move forward in our walk with Christ.
My story is pretty typical. It’s only unique because it is mine. Every time a man comes to John 3:16 and submits to the perfect will of God, another success story is written. I was tired and hurting. I was beaten down with nowhere to turn. John 3:16 Ministries showed me the cure.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend Report

We headed back to John 3:16 Ministries on Saturday for a steak dinner to get ready for the Unity Fest fundraiser in May. More on that later! :) Every time we go to the Ministry, there are more changes. They are really growing! We stopped on the way out at the new prayer garden they put in. It's on the road as you turn into the Ministry. You can see the BIG sign way before you get to it. And, they have given away over 200 Bibles in about 3 months time. Pretty cool! Here are some pics from the prayer garden...(then more news).If you are interested in donating Bibles, just contact me or Kevin and we will lead you in the right direction...and I have no idea why this print changed color and is underlined....hmmm! The BIG sign...note the screen printing service...they do a great job on Tshirts!! As you will soon see!! :)We also picked up our Tshirt order while we were there!! Exciting!! James did an AWESOME job!! Check out the back of the Tshirt:Cool huh? Our teenage helpers in a few weeks will get one for working for us. We'll all get to match! We will have some left over to sell. Nothing like a new Tshirt! ha!
Today was a fairly lazy day after church. Kevin was "as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs" before church because the preacher called him on Thursday or Friday and asked him to come up to the front after his sermon to say a little about his addictions and how God has made a difference. I was super proud of him because there are about 400 people in our service each Sunday. We are SO grateful to John 3:16 Ministries. It was a year ago tomorrow that Kevin came home. What a difference God has made in our lives!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Almost Spring Break....

And I am ready to sleep in like this spoiled rotten pup....wonder who is responsible for this? heehee!
I am seriously bitten by the spring fever bug!!! I am just as ready as the kids for spring break. We are going to head to NW Arkansas for a night and Branson. Then, I am all about getting some yard work done!!! Since, two puppies have taken over my backyard, I have serious plans to work on the front flowerbeds this year....might as well transplant some stuff before the devil dogs kill it! ha! 6 more workdays until Spring Break...I can do it!! Tomorrow will be easy...then the serious countdown is ON!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

So far, so good...

So...truth is that while all of you were calling and texting to see if we were ok because of the tornado within miles of our house and heading our way, we were sitting at the dinner table with some family....actually poking a little fun at Sandy for being "safety mom" again and worrying about Tanner who was at work. Yep, we had no clue it was that close and we should have paid attention to Sandy instead of making her stop watching the news and sit down to eat. Here it is in print...I was wrong. Sandy was right. :-) And, Tanner is fine. But, he did actually SEE the tornado with his own eyes. Yep, safety mom was onto to something tonight!
Not sure if there are more rounds coming or not, but I promise to pay attention to the tv now. Thanks to everyone who checked on us!! We love you too!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We Graduated!!

Tonight was the final night of doggie obedience and they did a good job and BOTH graduated! yay! But just to show you what I mean about some of Rex's antics....this is supposed to be a "sit, stay"...see Rex practically passed out!The pictures aren't fabulous because the dogs eyes are glowing but it's all good anyway...you know I had my camera ready for graduation!! ha! Here's Stella's big moment:
And even Rex got to graduate...I think he was last in his class! LOL!
Here's the whole crew (minus a man and woman with two big lab mixes that weren't there tonight). LuLu, the Saint Bernard was definitely most improved. And that huge German Shepherd is the same age as Rex!! Only 10 months old!The really good news that I am super pumped about is that the next class we are taking is a canine good citizen class for the dogs to become therapy dogs!!! This is a dream of mine for a long time. I even wrote my research paper on it for my Masters. It may be a few weeks before we start as they are just now getting it together. But a few of their furfriends from this class will be joining us! Now, that's going to be a little tougher, but I hope they pass so we can go to nursing homes and hospitals with them.
Wouldn't that be awesome?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Interesting Sidenote

**Warning: Women only post!!**
So, during Sunday school, Kevin added us to the prayer list for our trying to have a baby. And, this guy in our class says, "drink robitussin". Everyone laughs. And, he comes up to us after class and tells us he was serious and that they had gotten that from a specialist and his wife got pregnant using robitussin. Seriously? Check out what I found on the internet:

Believe it or not, but Robitussin could not only treat your cold but it could also help you conceive! The way it works is that it helps thin and loosen cervical mucus in women to create a better environment for sperm. You don’t have to use the brand Robitussin, either, but any expectorant that has guaifenesin as the active ingredient may be used. Make sure there are no other active ingredients, however, because they could make conceiving more difficult.

If you are interested in trying Robitussin to help you conceive then the recommended dosage is 200 mg or two teaspoons. This should be taken three times per day orally and is just enough to improve your cervical mucus. If you feel your mucus does not appear to be loosening up or thinning out then you may want to take the maximum dosage as recommended on the bottle. It is recommended that you drink a lot of water, too, to increase the amount of mucus produced. You should also take a glass of water with each dose of Robitussin.


Interesting right? Never would have thought it! Now, did I stop on the way home and get some robitussin? What do you think? heehee!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Today's Adventures

Today started out fairly calm and relaxing with Rex grateful to have his lounger back on the deck and out of the storage shed. It is so much nicer to sun on than lying on the hard deck...what a life! While we were enjoying the sun in the backyard, Kevin was going to buy the utility trailer we've had our eye on all week...it was everything he's been looking for and now it's ours! (Now, would I have rather had a new couch? You betcha! Ha!) Once Big Bear got home with the trailer, we promptly loaded it up with the ice maker my dad has had in our garage since about October, loaded up the pups and headed to my parents place. Always an adventure when we haul something...how many times can ratchet straps come loose? Plenty!!! We finally had to just lay the stupid thing on its front and go! If you saw a jeep on an exit ramp today with a person AND an ice maker on the trailer behind it and going about 10 miles per hour...that was us! That's how we roll! LOL! Once we got our load under control, we stopped in Searcy at a high school classmates restaurant for lunch and had a picnic with the pups. Obedience school paid off and they actually sat in their stay position and let us enjoy lunch. And we rewarded them with some french fries...win! win!
They did have a big time on the farm and apparently all dogs LOVE horse manure...gross! Rex is a total mess...we put him in a pen with a 6 foot gate this time to see if he could escape and he DID! I caught his attempts on video but had run out of video when he actually went over. It is insane how high he can jump. He was out in less than 5 minutes!!! Oh, and apparently he is only courteous to our cats. He was obsessed with chasing the farm cats. I certainly have my hands full with this one! Gotta say, Stella was good, as usual...she did raise her hackles when we first got there, but got over it quick. At least we have one good kid! Ha!
And, we made it home with Kevin's new toys all in one piece...tomorrow we clean and organize the garage! There it is ... in print... now we have to do it! Big thanks to Mom and Dad for the FREE refrigerator and freezer!! Yep, free! Score! As a bonus, the freezer is the perfect size to go in the concessions trailer (the one we are getting soon...as soon as we find it! ha!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Blessings ~ Wrap-Up!

I won't torture you anymore except to leave you with this...heehee! Today I am grateful that our instrument (sound) projects are over and I have listened to all the presentations. And, I am grateful the concert in my classroom is behind me. Ha!
Enjoy a minute and a half of....music?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blessings ~ Day 3

Yep, you got at least 2 more days of this! heehee!
What am I grateful for today?
~I have a job I love!
~My Masters is finished and I am pondering if it is time to put it to use...
~We are getting a REFUND on our taxes!
~We can start looking at trailers and a new ride for Kevin!!
~Loving my Praying Life Bible Study!!
~Grateful for a husband that goes to Bible Study with me!
~Family dinners
~Our bills are paid.
~The kitchen is finally CLEAN! Now if someone would do the floors and bathrooms....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blessings ~ Day 2

Today's post is dedicated to the pups...these two have brought us lots of laughter.
Stella will always hold a special place in my heart because she helped me to heal from the loss of Jax. These two are totally different dogs in so many ways. Stella is a people pleaser and a lover. Rex is stubborn and could care less and can snore like a freight train! ha!

And, BOTH did a good job in obedience school tonight! woot! We were able to put them in "wait" position and walk across the training floor and call them to us! Both of us! Yay! Rex even did his stay position this week! There was a new instructor there tonight (Mom, you might want to sign up now...he's a cowboy from Austin, Texas! ha!). Anyway, he was really impressed with Stella (of course!). We asked about taking them through the class a second time but switching dogs and the instructor thinks there is going to be a better class for us. So, we may be graduating and moving to the next level next week! Yay!

For all the locals ~ next classes start March 16th at Splash and Dash ~ only $55 a dog!! It's fun, you should do it! :)

To wrap it up, I am grateful for our puppies and the joy they bring us, for us all having fun with the obedience classes once a week, and of course for BoxAR Rescue that rescued Rex!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A week of blessings...day 1


I am grateful for Big Bear (aka Kevin, aka the hubs)
Why? Because:
*He cooks for me and likes doing it!
*He puts left-overs in little containers for me for my lunch the next day.
*He spends time with me instead of going out and doing other things.
*He loves to go camping!
*He makes me laugh.
*He's my best friend.
*He loves the dogs as much as I do.
*He tolerates Nala for me!
*He is the spiritual leader of our household.
*He encourages me.
*He makes me feel pretty and wanted.
*He loves my family.
*He gets me and loves me anyway!

You are just going to have to deal with a whole week of my grateful self! heehee!