Friday, July 30, 2010

See ya....

...in about a week! Taking a little blogging break before school starts...a week of 'not much computer time' is in the works! Wish me luck with that! ha!
While I am on break, feel free to check out some of the awesome blogs in my sidebar!
See ya in a week! :-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Off the top of my head...

Big Bear wanted me to make a list of all the reasons I think we should get a bigger camper...a pro's list. Well, there are probably too many reasons to even list, but here goes a start...in no particular order. If I leave off an obvious one, feel free to add it! ha!

1. super slide opens up a camper for more room
2. more storage space
3. not as much work involved in set-up (current camper is a pop-up)
4. bathroom for my late night potty needs
5. no more using camping grounds public bathrooms period!
6. easier to get ready for camping trips because can walk into camper to load
7. have a vehicle that will pull it already
8. queen size bed
9. bed can stay made up!!
10. awning that only requires the push of a button
11. table to play games at
12. easier to travel year round with
13. can use it at Christmas to stay overnight at my parents (house gets super crowded)
14. easier to camp with dogs - room for their crate and moving around
15. bunk beds so others can camp with us in the camper
16. when have kids of our own, will have room for them
17. with baby, there will be room for all the 'baby stuff' (like strollers)
18. can also be used to save money on hotel rooms while on concession jobs
19. if get a loan on it, the interest is tax deductible
20. multiple tax deductions due to use with the business - bonus!
21. room for clothes to stay in the camper=less packing
22. worst case, when we have visitors, since we have no place for them to sleep, they could stay in the camper
23. room for your golf clubs
24. outside storage
25. camping possibilities are wide open - out of state camping like Grand Canyon
26. it just makes perfect sense!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Spoiled

Sarcasm

Sarcasm is when I say things like "I love it when people who tried for all of two months to get pregnant tell me what I'm doing wrong." Or, "I love it when people who think about getting pregnant and presto! it happens, tell me what to do." Or, "Thanks for the advice on what to do for my pregnant friends. I wouldn't have thought of that" from someone who has absolutely ZERO clue what my emotions are because they managed to somehow accidentally get pregnant! I am still trying to figure out how that happens!! It's a catch 22 letting people know your fertility struggles. On the one hand, we have so many who are supportive and prayerful and that is what we need most. And on the other hand, you have those who think they have the solution for you. Well, I say, get back to me when you have to wonder if you will ever get to be a mom, or when you actually have to go to the doctor to help you get pregnant, because until then, you have no clue what I am feeling or going through.
There...I feel so much better! ahhhhh!!! Sometimes you just gotta let it out!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Date Day

BIG thanks to my awesome room mom of this past school year! As an end-of-the-year gift from my class, she got me a gift certificate to a very nice restaurant (YaYa's) and a gift certificate to the IMAX movie theatre. Kevin and I finally got around to using them BOTH today and had an awesome date day for FREE! AwEsOmE!!! Lunch was sooooo good!! Look at the gorgeous presentation on this plate: After lunch, we went to the movies and were planning to see GrownUps but it wasn't showing until 4:30, so our second choice was Toy Story 3 in 3-D...you know the dorks in us got a big kick out of the 3-D glasses. We would look at each other and crack up!
And, the movie was good...you just can't go wrong with Toy Story!We wrapped up our day with a stop in at a fancy doggie boutique we saw by the restaurant. We got the pups a gourmet dog treat for letting mommy and daddy have a day of peace and quiet! ha! Add in a little Hell's Kitchen tonight and we had an awesome day!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

DONE!

Remember when I made that confession ~here~ Well, two months later, I have finally finished with the mess! It has been a mess since we got married. It just became the catch-all storage space. So, little by little, I have made progress...check it out. Closet Before:
Closet after: (almost everything went in the garage sale or to the attic...well, it is sitting waiting to be put up in the attic! ha!)
Before...oh my! I forgot how bad it was...just a path through there and forget about scrapbooking!
Now...no path to walk through and I can SEE my scrapbook desk! Woot!
Before view as you walk into the room...yikes! This is why we kept the door cracked and the only ones that would enter were the cats!
And now....ahhh! The best news is that WHEN (not if) we get pregnant, all we will have to do is find a place for my scrapbook stuff and then Big Bear can get to painting! :-)
Someone can actually sleep in there now! ha! I even managed to scrapbook a page today...as a matter of fact, think I will go scrap another now! So glad this task is in the past!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Humbled Hearts

This morning Kevin and I were blessed to be able to join a group from the church to go and feed the homeless. Kevin smoked 13 boston butts to prepare to feed around 250 people. That number really surprised me. I know there are homeless people out there but I don't think about it being that many! I have always wanted to get involved with feeding the homeless. But, I admit that while I have always wanted to be involved in this ministry, I pictured going to a shelter and dishing up warm food and them being able to sit at tables to eat. You know, like on tv! But today, we weren't at a homeless shelter. We were outside - under the bridge where they live. I really had to soak it all in. The men lying on cardboard boxes. The baskets and backpacks full of all their belongings. The men carrying their blankets to lay on. The gratefulness for a bottle of water. The long, long line of people with no where to be but to wait on the hot food they were being given. Men, women and families sitting on the ground and happy for the meal. Watching people get second and third sandwiches and storing them in their backpacks for later. And, being in awe of the faith. They have nothing except what is on their backs, but they are still praising Jesus! You can't help but leave something like that and be grateful for all the blessings that you have. We realize how blessed we are and we are grateful for the chance to serve today. Today was my first experience feeding the homeless but it won't be my last!
Each of us should look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark

*13

If I were giving it a letter grade, I would probably go with a B-. It was good, but wrapped up a little too neatly. The twin stuff - like talking and communicating with each other when they aren't together - went a little too far for me. You would have to judge for yourself. Here's a quick summary from the net:
Margaret and Steve Frawley celebrate the third birthday of their twin girls, Kelly and Kathy, with an afternoon party in their new home. That evening, Steve and Margaret attend a black-tie dinner in New York. On returning home, the police are in the house, the babysitter has been found unconscious, the children are gone and a note demanding an eight million dollar ransom has been left in their room. Steve firm agrees to pay the ransom. The kidnapper, who identifies himself as the "Pied Piper", makes his terms known - on delivery of the ransom, a call will come revealing the girls' whereabouts. The call comes, but only Kelly is in the car parked behind a deserted restaurant. The driver is dead from a gunshot wound and has left a suicide note, saying he had inadvertently killed Kathy and had dumped her body in the ocean. At the private memorial Mass for Kathy, Kelly tugs Margaret's arm and says: "Mommy, Kathy is very scared of that lady. She wants to come home right now." More unexplainable occurrences follow, indicating that Kelly is in touch with Kathy. At first, no one except the mother believes that the twins are communicating and that Kelly is still alive. As Kelly's warnings become increasingly specific and alarming, however, the FBI agents set out on a search for Kathy. As they close in on the Pied Piper and his accomplices, Kathy's life hangs on a thread.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

At the Benson house....

  • Kevin had his post-op doctor appointment this morning and the doctor says he is healing nicely and everything is looking good! Yay! He goes back again in two weeks for a follow-up.
  • I had a lunch date with a good friend yesterday and spent the day with lots of good girl talk and good food! :-) Love days like those!!
  • We are having a yard sale Saturday. Every time I have one, I promise it is the last and then look what happens! ha! We hope to make enough money to pay for the care of all our furkids while we are in Florida. We may be going on a 'free' family vacation, but it costs serious cash just for us to get out of town!! And we want a farm someday? What are we thinking??? LOL!
  • On Sunday, Kevin and I are feeding the homeless with some people from our church. This is something I have wanted to get plugged into for a long time. As caterers, we have so much left over food, and I want to put it to use and help others rather than throwing it away!! Sunday, the homeless around here will get some of the best BBQ they have ever had! :)
  • Have a GREAT weekend! If you are local, swing by the yard sale on Saturday. I think Big Bear is going to sell hot dogs and ice water! :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Your trash = my Treasures!

My neighbor helped me unload my treasures from the Jeep last night...he probably thought I was nuts! But I am super pumped over these....how cool will that tractor wheel and old scale be in my flowerbed? VERY cool! Can't you just see the tractor wheel lying up against the fence...She wanted $30 a piece for them and I was standing out there with Big Bear debating on which one I wanted the most b/c I couldn't justify buying them both and she came up and said, "I will give them both to you for $30." And I said, "SOLD!"
And, don't miss the awesome Dr. Pepper Tshirt for 50 cents!! You know I love me some Dr. Pepper!
I forgot to put the rusted milk container she threw in for free! oh well, when I finally get it all in its destination place, I'll take a picture! :-)

At a different yard sale, we spent $1.50 on about 6 books...some where very old and cool...especially the Bible Dictionary and the Bible Atlas. I would say for $40, we made a good haul and had fun to boot! :-)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Updates and such...

Kevin had his surgery on Friday afternoon. They had to dig deep to get it all out...turns out he had a golf ball sized cyst embedded in his shoulder muscles. It was yucky looking! Needless to say, he has been in some pain this weekend!! Tonight we were able to take the bandages off and he is just kind of uncomfortable. He can't lift anything heavy for at least a week, so I am his right hand for his caterings! He has a follow-up appointment on Thursday. Let's pray for this to heal well and all pain be gone!
I had my last day of summer school on Friday, so I am finally on summer break!! I've got about 3 1/2 weeks off and that is perfect for me! I should be able to get a few projects done, read a few books, grab a quick camping trip (if Big Bears heals well)...who knows what adventures await...
Saturday, we went to some local yard sales and there was a house in the 'well-to-do' neighborhood having a moving sale. They had the sale set up inside and I wish we would've gotten there earlier (not that I had that much money), but we spent $40 and got a TON of stuff ... Kevin can't lift, so as soon as I get help unloading the Jeep, I will take a picture and share my treasures! Until then, you have to wonder. :-)
In doggie news...notice anything unusual about our ottoman? Oh, that's right, one side has been ripped off! While their daddy was napping! Little sneaks!
Stella says, "It wasn't me!" And, honestly, it wasn't. You hear all these horror stories about labs being destructive, but truly in this house, it is the boxer. He is sneaky too! He will grab one of Kevin's hats and run through the living room and out the doggie door as fast as he can. He knows he isn't supposed to have it, so he tries to keep you from noticing. Sneaky! Anyway...the ottoman is old and I can staple the flap back on, so they weren't in too much trouble. :)
How could they stay in trouble? I mean I can't even sit in the little nook and enjoy watching some rain without all three dogs with me! I promise you that Simba does not know he is a cat! ha!

Private by James Patterson

*12th book this year. I am so going to pass last year's reading!! :-)

You know I L.O.V.E. James Patterson books and this is the newest one out. Apparently he is starting a new series. (I am ready for another Alex Cross, but he didn't ask me!) Anyway...I liked it, of course, but I did get a little lost in all the characters. There were too many for my liking and between that and several plots (cases), I had to stop and think a few times about what was going on. But I would read the next one in this series...I think I like it better than the Bennett series he has out.

Here's a quick summary from jamespatterson.com & then on to a real post: :-)

The police can't help you
Former CIA agent Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily—and his staff of investigators use the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.

The press will destroy you
Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multimillion-dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of eighteen schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home: his best friend's wife, Jack's former lover, has been killed. It nearly pushes him over the edge. Instead, Jack pushes back and devotes all of Private's resources to tracking down her killer.

Only one place to turn: Private
But Jack doesn't have to play by the rules. As he closes in on the killer and chooses between revenge and justice, Jack has to navigate a workplace love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans. With a plot that moves at death-defying speeds, Private is James Patterson's sleekest, most exciting thriller ever.

The Associate by John Grisham

*11th book so far this year.

I can't remember what day I finished this book but I am almost done with my next one, so I thought I'd better hurry and record it! I am a reading fool these days and loving it! I haven't read any John Grisham in awhile, and this book starts in on the action right at the beginning. It was suspense all the way through....but I can't help but wonder if there is or will a sequel??! I didn't really get closure at the end...it just sort of ended. That was the only bad part though...it was a good book.
Here's a summary from the 'ole internet for ya:

Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father’s small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of The Yale Law Journal, and his future has limitless potential.

But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn’t want—even though it’s a job most law students can only dream about.

Three months after leaving Yale, Kyle becomes an associate at the largest law firm in the world, where, in addition to practicing law, he is expected to lie, steal, and take part in a scheme that could send him to prison, if not get him killed.

With an unforgettable cast of characters and villains—from Baxter Tate, a drug-addled trust fund kid and possible rapist, to Dale, a pretty but seemingly quiet former math teacher who shares Kyle’s “cubicle” at the law firm, to two of the most powerful and fiercely competitive defense contractors in the country—and featuring all the twists and turns that have made John Grisham the most popular storyteller in the world, THE ASSOCIATE is vintage Grisham.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Insurance Rant

I haven't ranted about anything for awhile so I have to just get this one off my mind...what is the point of insurance? Not even just health insurance...all of it! Seriously, if you have a wreck and make a claim on car insurance, then your rate goes up. When I was in college and had renters insurance, my apartment was broken into and I moved because I didn't feel safe there anymore. Guess what? My insurance wouldn't cover me at the new apartment, because I had a previous claim and was now considered a bigger risk!?! So, I was punished for USING the insurance I paid to have and for moving to a safer place! Then, there is good 'ole health insurance. I will say that I am fortunate in that I pay hardly anything for my health insurance. But, I also seldom even use it. I am one of those that pretty much has to be dying to go to the doctor. I can't even tell you the last time I went to my regular family doctor. But then, when I DO need coverage - like now with the infertility....not covered! Makes zero sense to me. But what really gets me rilled up is that Kevin cannot get health insurance. Oh sure, I could add him to mine.....for an extra $600 A MONTH out of our pockets!!! Who has that kind of money? Not us! We are lucky to have money left over for groceries after payday! So, we tried getting him independent health insurance b/c he is self-employed. Can't get coverage. Apparently no one in the insurance world has ever needed a second chance from the mistakes of life. He is rejected because he has been to a rehab. hmmm....don't get me started. So - last week after living with a knot on his shoulder that has caused him so much pain and trouble for a year, I finally said, we are going to a walk-in clinic. They ended up referring him to a specialist. Turns out it is a cyst and is deep in his shoulder and needs to come out. Good news is he will finally be out of pain!! But the doctor really wanted to do a 'knock you out and remove it' that would have cost us $6,000. But, we are self-pay and don't have $6,000, so the doctor is going to remove it in office (like he would have automatically if it were smaller). However, this will take longer because if Kevin starts feeling the cutting or pain, they will have to stop and deaden around it some more. Sounds fun for Kevin huh? It will be over in about 30 minutes this way instead of 5 to 10 minutes and will cost $500. I am grateful that we have the money to take of this right now (not really...but we will! ha). But all this insurance stuff really irritates me to no end!! Some people get coverage, some don't, some is outrageous, rates go up all the time, and we are required to have it, but yet, not everybody does. Urgh! Enough of that!
Pray for Kevin tomorrow about 3 o'clock...I'll be taking him after MY LAST DAY OF SUMMER SCHOOL!! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The journey continues

I have really been praying about and thinking about this current journey of ours lately. Some of your emails and outpouring of love and support have really made me start to think about why we are going through this baby journey. I think I am finally starting to embrace it. (as soon as I say that, I will have a melt down, but there it is in print!) A few people have commented on how well I am handling it...HA!...I don't think I am at all (and Kevin might agree). There are days of crying and questioning. There are days of extreme crankiness. There are days of plain 'ole pity party. There are days of impatience. And, then there are days like today when I am at peace with our journey. Here is the thing - I KNOW that God has a plan. I know He knows much better than we do what timing is best for us. I never forget that, but sometimes I still have a temper tantrum because I want MY way! Lately, I have thought about how God brought us through Kevin's struggles with alcoholism and how life now is so much better than I thought it could be. I think He has the same thing in store for us with this journey. I can't help but look for the why we are going through this. With Kevin's alcoholism, it gave us a ministry. A way to help others. Is this another way for us to help others? I am looking for those answers. I know He will show me. I also am certain now that I will be a mom someday. God just would not make this desire stronger if it wasn't what He wanted also. I am excited to see how the journey unfolds!
I do have a prayer request...you know how the clomid gave me some pretty extreme mood swings...in a few days, I will be back on clomid. You might pray for Kevin! Here is my wish for me - I have four dear friends that over the next four months will be blessed with a baby of their own. The first of which was born this past Friday. My hearts desire is that I am able to enjoy this moment with my friends. This is so hard to explain to people who haven't struggled to get pregnant. The feelings of being happy for your pregnant friends but wondering if it will ever happen for you. I just want to be able to be there for them and truly enjoy these precious moments with them. Pray for me that I am able to do that without getting down about our situation. I love each one of my prayer warriors more than I can ever express to you! Thank you for your continued support and love!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

LaKe FuN

I spent the day at the lake with my family yesterday and it was one of the best family days I can remember in a long time. Only bad part was that Big Bear missed it because he was cooking for a catering. :( We spent the day outrunning the rain and winning the race...we never got rained on! Yay! The nieces were happy as long as they were on the tube and it was moving as fast as possible!
My mom, me and Valerie....lots of laughs over the inner tube, the bodies flying through the air getting tossed off the inner tube, the men plotting over best way to drive to throw anyone on the tube off, and of course, watching the man in the houseboat get frustrated, cut his anchor line and us trying to find it so dad could score yet another one! LOL!The tube was loaded up all day...I think my dad, Valerie and Bubby might all be sore today from a few of those tosses!
Grandpa, aka captain of the ship, was super proud of himself when hitting that one big wave of the day and soaking everyone IN the boat and ALL our stuff! I was loving my waterproof bag at that point! :)
My bubby had the girls screaming and 'acting like they didn't want to ride with him' but then loving it because he made it fun by finding ways to toss them off! Ha!
All in all, an awesome family day!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

After the Darkness by Sidney Sheldon

**10th book so far this year.

I could NOT put this book down!!! I had the last pages to go last night and couldn't hold my eyes open so I finished today and couldn't wait to get home to finish it. I used to read Sidney Sheldon and remember liking his books and my book club stopped carrying them. I lost track of them. Not again. LOVED it!

Summary from the net:

Grace Brookstein is the beautiful, young, and naive wife of financial superstar, Leonard Brookstein; a billionaire many times over with estates all over the world. In 2009 the US stock market goes into a terrifying freefall. The economy is on the brink of collapse, and the public want someone to blame, their eyes and their rage directed firmly at Wall Street.Oblivious and seemingly unscathed, Grace continues her charmed life, until the death of Lenny in a tragic sialing ‘accident’ forces her to face reality. His financial affairs unravel, revealing expensive crimes, and now Grace is in the frame.Exposing a spiralling web of vicious lies and well-planned deceit, she soon puts her own life in danger.Grace is alone, angry, and desperate for revenge.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Big Bear!

I hope you had a good birthday weekend! I loved hibernating with you and spending some quiet time together. You are my best friend!! Glad you liked your compost bin!! You know it is official that we are getting old now! ha! My birthday wish for you is another year of walking the path God has chosen for you! Love you Big Bear!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Just what we needed...

...a 3 day weekend of lying low and mending our disappointments. We managed to tag team the house and clean it up as well as the garage!! And, have some fun by going to the Bar 50 Ranch to watch my parents ride in a very laid back horse show and take a nice little hike with my parents and the dogs. Throw in church and flea markets and it was a good weekend. Here are some of the Bar 50 pics:

No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark

*9th book so far this year.

I first will admit that I started out reading a book by David Baldacci and it was just too deep for my state of mind. I needed something lighter & haven't read Mary Higgins Clark in awhile. And, I was super pleased with this pick! I quit reading her books a few years ago because I thought they had gotten predictable but I honestly didn't see the ending of this one coming until near the end when I was supposed to. That is what I like when I can't stop reading because I want to know more....this book is worth the time.

Here's a quick online summary from allreaders.com :

Celia Nolan's past comes back to haunt her in a most terrifying fashion when her doting new husband, Alex, surprises her by buying a house for her on the occassion of her birthday. What she cannot reveal to Alex is that this was the very home she lived in as a child named Liza Barton, and that she accidentally shot her mother, Audrey, to death while trying to protect her from her abusive ex-stepfather, Ted. As Liza Barton, Celia earned mean-spirited comparisons to Lizzie Borden, and the house has since been known as 'Little Lizzie's House'.

Compounding Celia's troubles, a vandal intent on dredging up the past strikes, defacing the lawn, the door and masonry of the house.
Then, the real estate agent who sold the house to Alex is murdered, and Celia becomes the prime suspect, hounded by an obsessed, over-zealous detective.

Never fully vindicated and cleared in her mother's death and the (justified) shooting of her stepfather, Celia decides to find out why Ted was in the house the night of the tragedy before she can come clean to Alex.

When two more members of the community linked to the vandalism and to Celia's past turn up dead, it becomes clear that the danger is much closer to home than she ever realized."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Silent Partner

I have to take a moment to lift up, Kevin. My rock. My best friend. My husband. I think I sometimes forget that in this baby journey of ours, he hurts too. Yet he never draws attention to himself. He's too busy holding me up when we are disappointed again. This past time was no exception. As the days ticked by there was no way that we couldn't get our hopes up. I think we were both convinced we were finally pregnant, but also afraid to really believe it. After months and months of disappointment over and over again. You tend to start thinking there is never going to be a positive sign or hear the words that you are pregnant. This time I saw my Big Bear shed some tears over another chance gone of being a daddy. And while he shed a few tears and was hurting inside, he had to try to comfort me bawling my eyes out and fighting not to get down. I do love him even MORE for his constant support and upbeat thoughts that keep me going in this journey of ours. I vow from this time forward to try to be more understanding to his hurts in this journey too. And I ask when you pray for me that you also pray for him. We are spending a few days mending our broken hearts and then moving forward in the next ride of this roller coaster keeping in mind that the payoff at the end is priceless!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The latest ride....

**WARNING: This is probably considered one of those TMI - women's only posts. You've been warned!**
I have to start by saying this just doesn't even seem fair! I haven't said anything about the recent emotional roller coaster we have been on because we really were hopeful that we were finally pregnant. But our hopes came crashing down around us today. We have literally been on pins and needles or anxious for the past two weeks. Basically, at 37 years old, I seem to have skipped my period for the first time in my life. The one sign of being pregnant that makes you build up your hope, and I can't trust it anymore. Just great! I am on day 40 today and have gone broke buying pregnancy test after pregnancy test. I have tested every other day and they were all negative. But they aren't 100% accurate and lots of women are pregnant and get negative home tests. Since that monthly visitor wasn't making an appearance, there was definite hope. After two weeks though, (and a phone conversation with a nurse that shouldn't be working in an ob/gyn office), I was about to lose it if I didn't know one way or the other. So, yesterday, I went to the doctor and had my blood drawn for a blood test. They called with the results today and the wait is over. Once again, we aren't pregnant. And now, I have no idea WHEN I am supposed to start, WHEN I am supposed to ovulate, and I have no clomid in my system. The roller coaster continues...We are now in month 16 of trying. I am starting to seriously question if this is in His plans for us. I want off the roller coaster...I never have liked them!