Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The hits keep coming...

Quick review of Benson drama lately :
*Meatzilla 1 breaks down, as in DEAD, and still is sitting at transmission shop waiting for diagnosis
*We are given yet another '89 Suburban by my dad...and it breaks down. Shop bills $400.
*Very next day on our way to Rector, our trusty Jeep breaks down. Repair costs still unknown, but we do know we need a WHOLE NEW ENGINE! Urgh!!!

Now, all that will take care of itself. So, I have put off posting our other "hits" because I needed time to process them. And these too will take care of themselves...in God's perfect timing. Let's take them one hit at a time...both sort of came at the same time. It started with a doctor appointment. Just a regular yearly girl check-up if you know what I mean. Now, the first hit came when we went over Kevin's analysis (counts) in person. Over the phone, a few months prior, I didn't get the impression that the analysis was that off. I mean, I know she said go to a urologist, but she didn't seem to stress that we wouldn't get pregnant without that visit. Well, our talk in person was discouraging. The counts are low. Way low. We aren't getting pregnant unless God wants us to because between those counts and my issues, that's the only way. So, I was a bit discouraged. Then.....
hit #2, I hear 'well this is worrisome'. Not want you really want to hear. I think she even said it three times as she was getting ready to do a biopsy because we just "couldn't let this go". So, I came home reeling from an unexpected biopsy and the news that we probably aren't getting pregnant to a husband with a broke toe. That's right...a broken pinky toe. We are falling apart people!! ha
Fast forward to the day before Thanksgiving and we get the biopsy results back. They came back showing abnormal cell growth that they rated as being moderate to severe for being cancerous. Now, for whatever reason, I had a sixth sense this was going to happen. I just didn't feel right about it all. I think it was all the "this is worrisome" from the doctor. You think? So, I am having surgery next Thursday to remove it. The doctor plans to go out further than the borders to be sure to get it all. After a day of walking in a fog, and a few days to process, I am confident she will get it all and we will put this behind us along with everything else. I am working daily on surrendering all anxious thoughts! :)
Now, do I think it's an accident that all these are coming at us while we are signing up to coach Upward and Kevin is filling out papers to become a Gideon? Nope, I think the devil is trying to get us down, but he underestimated the Benson's love of Jesus! You might knock us down for a minute, but we get right back up! "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

Now, I gotta give some praise to being surrounded by amazing friends, an awesome Sunday school class and Bible Study groups, and a loving family. I know that I have the peace of mind that I do now because of all the prayers. I liked how one person put it "remember, many people are walking beside you as you carry your burdens." Comforting!

"Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Keep those prayers coming...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

For your Monday morning!

The Postcard Killers by James Patterson

*17

My thoughts: You know James Patterson is my all-time favorite author but this one started out and stayed a little weak until past the middle. It wasn't bad, but not one of the best either. :( I just went to amazon to get you a summary and noticed it didn't get rave reviews there either...might want to skip this one!

Brief summary:
Paris is stunning in the summer

NYPD detective Jacob Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him--he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each cafe through the eyes of his daughter's killer.

The killing is simply marvelous

Kanon's daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have been found dead. Little connects the murders, other than a postcard to the local newspaper that precedes each new victim.

Wish you were here

Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Dessie Larsson, who has just received a postcard in Stockholm--and they think they know where the next victims will be. With relentless logic and unstoppable action, The Postcard Killers may be James Patterson's most vivid and compelling thriller yet.
See all Editorial Reviews


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I give thanks today for:
*my amazing and loving husband.
*two pups that are constant entertainment.
*a family that loves us and helps us in troubled times.
*a roof over our heads.
*kitty cats that snuggle.
*my Bible Study groups.
*Kevin's sobriety.
*our church and the family we have found there.
*the sound of thunder.
*an understanding boss.
*the smell of smoked turkey.
*lazy days of rest.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Today I am most thankful for...

...Big Bear! He is constantly amazing me with his love. Yesterday, I missed a call from my doctor with some results, and today when I finally got a chance to call, the lady said she was sorry she couldn't talk to my husband this morning when he called. He knew I couldn't use the phone during the day (a teacher job hazard! ha) and tried to get my results so he could ease my mind. It made me realize yet again how much he loves me and worries about me. I am thankful for him every day...but sometimes I get a little reminder of just how blessed I am! :)
*picture credit goes to Elmore Photography! :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

It got worse...

...but it's gonna get better! So, in the midst of a catering for 350 people yesterday, dad called to say the Jeep was in worse shape than he thought. Fast forward through a few crying meltdowns from me, lots of emails and phone calls today and we have found a mechanic in Newport that even gives a warranty with his work. Now, the trick is that Dad has to get the Jeep to them and we wait...could be really bad (like a new engine) or kinda bad (busted gaskets). Best case is about $1200 right here at the holidays. Good thing I have mostly finished shopping. Bad part is that the ones I haven't bought for is the kids and you can't tell them their presents went to fix the car. So...how does a little more debt on top of a pile of debt sound? Overwhelming? Yep! But, the bright side is that most of our debt is business related and if business stays at the pace it has been lately, I can see the way out. It is honestly ridiculous how many hits we've taken in one week (even more hits than just the two cars dying in two days!), but I've decided it's easier to roll with the punches than to be down and out.
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10

Sunday, November 21, 2010

You won't believe it...

...you will probably think I am exaggerating, but NO, this is really how the past few days have gone. This week and last week have been run, run, run, go, go, go. Well, Thursday, right after work, I went straight to get my hair cut and then straight into the phone call "honey, where are you? Meatzilla is dead. Come get me." Well, crap! #1, this is the NEW Meatzilla and #2, we are supposed to be at church at 6:30 for our first Upward meeting! Big Bear is almost home...he is on this little narrow road that you get on to get to our neighborhood. Long story short, I get a tow rope and slowly the Jeep pulls him the last of his drive home. Now, keep in mind the New Meatzilla has been sitting for over a year, so it would make sense we do a little maintenance to get her going properly again. And, let me throw in here that car after car after car went around us and no one stopped to help. We had to go buy a tow rope, so it took awhile of trying other things first and then walking into the neighborhood to try to borrow one before I went and bought one. Anyway...we do live in the same neighborhood as our youth pastor, and he is the only one who stopped to see if he could help. :) We even managed to make our Upward Meeting (just a few minutes late) and we are assigned 1st and 2nd graders!! Scary! :) More updates on that as they progress...
Fast forward to Friday and the New Meatzilla gets her first tow. I told Big Bear we need a punch card from Charlie's Towing that every 10th tow is free! ha! Turns out, it was the distributor and some wire??? Whatever, it was $400. And, here is the really cool part - earlier in the week, we had been blessed with an extra $500 that I had sitting in my Bible!! So, no worries! But, is the drama over? NO! That would be too easy! ha! So...I get home from work and we are supposed to head out to Rector for Big Bear's family Thanksgiving on Saturday. It's a 3 hour trip, and they do a fish fry, so his mom asked if he could bring our fish cooker. No problem....and then, we debate, do we take the Jeep that we've never had any trouble out of or do we take the Suburban that just got out of the shop? We decide it is safer to take the Jeep...hook up the trailer with the fish cooker...hit the road. We make it to Cabot and stop to eat and fill up on gas. As we are getting back on the interstate, we both hear something funny. Being the non-mechanics we are, even if we would have stopped, we would have checked the trailer with the cooker NOT under the hood. So, we get about 3 minutes down the road and for the first time in 7 years, my 'check gauges' light comes on and we are overheated. Strange!?! Kevin immediately turns on the heat and it goes back down and the light goes off. I am a bit panicked and impressed at the same time. THEN, about another minute or two and same thing happens only this time it won't cool back down. Then, we start loosing speed, we see an exit ahead and try to make it to that. Then, funny noises. We make the exit and loose all power as I pull over. When we get out, there is HUGE amounts of smoke coming out from under the hood. I wanted to cry. I admit, I do love my Jeep. She's been a good car and I thought for sure she was a goner and on fire!! Within a minute, I promise, a minute or less, someone had pulled over to help THAT IS A MECHANIC!!! Can you say "Amen Jesus!" He looks at it and immediately tells us that the water pump busted and the serpentine? belt broke. Ok...we know the problem & we are stranded in the middle of nowhere (probably about 40 minutes from home and a little over an hour from my parents house). Luckily, we don't have the dogs with us on this trip...we only have a trailer to worry about. You can't tow a vehicle and a trailer. So....my Bubby and my Dad to the rescue! Dad has a car hauler and came to haul the Jeep to his house to work on and Bubby came with his extra truck to haul the trailer. But, when he got there, he generously offered his truck to us to get the rest of the way to Rector and drive until Dad fixed the Jeep. AND, he and Valerie stayed there with us until Dad got there (which took almost 2 hours)...we had good talks and laughs. So, I do have to add, that ridicuously, it made me sad to see the Jeep go up on the car hauler...it was like loading her into an ambulance. Poor Jeep...we've been together on many a road trip. Hope she's back to normal soon!!
So, we made it to Rector at 1 in the morning and we were supposed to be there at 8 pm! ha! The Jeep is with my parents and I am driving my Bubby's Dodge Ram. (which is amazing because remember what happened last time I borrowed his truck? Go here for more adventures! ha!) But I do love a big truck! The adventures we get ourselves into! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Battle of Simba vs. Carly

Carly was so clueless, she thought Simba was playing with her and boxing. He was NOT thrilled that everytime he walked into a room, she came at him to play. Rex would try to get between them if she took it too far. They battled many times and once Simba got on the ottoman and had a height advantage and got her in a headlock, but she came back for more! Note the attention span and how the ball distracts her! Love it! :)
For my animal lovers...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Contentment and Forgiveness...

...the two topics at church Sunday. Contentment in Sunday School and Forgiveness as the message in the church service. Two topics I struggle with. During the message, he (we had a guest preacher) said, "Think about your list. We all have a list. That list of people who have hurt us or disappointed us." You know...the ones you want to 'get theirs' or are wishing for the 'what goes around comes around' to come to them. Think about your list. Now, forgive them for whatever they did or said. Don't let it drag you down or keep you from fully loving God and others. As he was preaching, I thought about the people who had hurt me most in life. Isn't it sad that it is those that you love the most or are closest to that hurt you? I mean, my "big three" hurts in life came from my biological father, my ex-husband, and Kevin. Here's what has always been a question for me...I forgave my ex-husband and Kevin easily, but I couldn't let go of the pain my biological father caused me. I couldn't forgive him and let it go. And, it's not like my ex-husband didn't put me through some serious pain. There were times when I hurt so badly that I didn't even want to go on living. But, I overcame and I forgave. And, you all know the stories with Kevin, but I was able to forgive there too. Bible Study after Bible Study, these forgiveness issues with my father kept coming to surface. And, after listening on Sunday and reflecting, I have finally forgiven. I believe that God doesn't want us to have relationships that are harmful to us, so I am not seeking a relationship, just letting go and forgiving. So, here it is in print:
Dear N,
I forgive you for not being there as a dad when I was growing up.
I forgive you for not coming to my games to watch me dance.
I forgive you for what you did to my mom and for breaking up our family.
I forgive you for not helping financially as you should have.
I forgive you for kicking me out of your house when I had no place to go.
I forgive you for looking at me with pure hate in your eyes.
I forgive you for pushing me across the room.
I forgive you for making me think the words I love you didn't mean anything.
I forgive you for not being there when I graduated college.
I forgive you for not being there for any of my big moments in life.
I forgive you ... I am handing all of it over to God now and I won't be taking it back. So, goodbye! I am free of it!
Love, L
And, I know I am finally there -at forgiveness because I smile as I type this - not cry! AMEN!
This has taken years of prayers...Thank you God for answered prayers! :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's gone to the dogs!

Here's just a minute of our entertainment this weekend:



These two loved each other! Mom, I will babysit that precious girl anytime!! I miss her...even though Simba, Nala and Stella do NOT! ha! For you animal lovers, I will upload a video of Simba vs. Carly later this week. The videos are not cooperating tonight.
It was a good, laid-back, peaceful weekend! Perfect before another hectic week - right? :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh, the cuteness!

We are babysitting for my Mom...an 8 week old boxer puppy! Hello!!! Can you say heaven? Rex instantly loved her, and they are currently boxing each other while I type this! It's hilarious to watch because they have the same mannerisms and moves only it's big versus tiny! I'll try to get video for all the other dog lovers! :) She is finding all their chew toys...this is Rex's "awww, don't take my toy...just play with me" face!
Gonna be a fun weekend with my four-legged sister, Carly! Two boxers are just fun to watch!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Busy!!

It's that time of year I guess...busy, busy. Every night seems that there is something!
Here's some good news though - I am almost DONE Christmas shopping already!! That's right!! And, last year, I was not into it because we were broke, and we still are but this year, I am pumped about the gifts I got and am ready to give them to people! Yeee!!! All I really have left are the nephews and Michelle's kiddo's. Then, I get to have fun stuffing Big Bear's stocking!

Anyway - tune in tomorrow or Friday and I will have some precious pictures of the little one I am babysitting for the weekend! Cuteness guaranteed! :-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

My treasure

Yesterday, I was able to pick up my treasure from War Eagle from my BFF, Michelle. I was looking for a sign to go above our wedding picture, and when Michelle and I saw this saying on something, we knew that was IT! I had it made and she brought it to me. Perfect for us - don't you think? Love ya Big Bear! :-)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rested...

It has been an all around great 4 day break from the stresses of work. I purposefully did zero school work because it will still be there after this break and it was time for some family time! Thursday was the least fun day because we started by scrubbing the house, and for some reason, that always causes some arguments. ha!
Friday we took the pups to Petit Jean Mountain and had a picnic and went on a hike. It was gorgeous weather and beautiful views everywhere you looked! This is one of those to put on the list to go back and hike a different trail next time. This is me (Momma Bear and her cubs) in one of the little caves...actually this one is called Bear Cave. I mean, look at all that surrounded us...so awesome! And, PS, Stella is a horrible hiker...so I am pretty sure she is looking back at me for help at this point! ha!
This was our amazing view when we were eating lunch...and the start place for our trail. One of those times where you sit in awe of God and His creations. :)
The rest of our "time off"...which we were blessed by both having time off at the same time...whoohoo...we spent having lunch with Kevin's mom, going to flea markets, looking at furniture (a mistake! ha!), watching Tanner's senior play (a dinner/murder mystery - fun!), meeting Michelle & family for lunch today, and of course, enjoying a Razorback win! I even squeezed in some scrapbooking...I am waaaayyyy behind. All in all, a most awesome break from reality. And, now I go back to work for 12 workdays and then have Thanksgiving Break. Yay!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

4 day weekend!

I have spent today scrubbing this nasty house and can now enjoy the rest of my time off. Hopefully, I will find a little time to scrapbook. But here are some things I am excited about - hiking with Big Bear & the pups tomorrow, my cousin Tanner's senior play, and lunch with my BFF. Ahhhh!! Relaxin'...so until I check in Sunday night with an update, here are some more of my favorites from our photo shoot last Saturday. We got the disc yesterday and are super happy with the pictures....Elmore Photography ROCKS! :)


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sneak Peek

A few of my favorites from the photo session Saturday...I'll share more when I get the disc tomorrow. We had so much fun! :)
For all the locals, this is a friend's husband trying to get started. If you are interested in more information, send me an email or call me and I'll give you their information. Elmore Photography ROCKS! :-)
He even got some pictures when Rex made his great escape...an "accidental" photo opportunity! ha!

Monday, November 1, 2010

And then the next day...

Yesterday's post got you through Saturday...tired? So, after getting in at 1 in the morning and cleaning up after a sick dog, we crash and get up at 6 am to head to John 3:16 Ministry in Charlotte, AR (2 hours away). It was great to see everyone and hear all the testimonies. Makes me praise Jesus even more for Kevin and the ministry!! Immediately after service, we headed to a catering (the give-away catering from the auction at the Beverly Tapp Golf Tournament). The same guy who won it the year before bid on it and won it again! After frying some fish, we jumped BACK in the car for our 2 hour drive home. We hurried so that Kevin could teach his 4th grade boys group at church - only to get home, drive to church and realize it was cancelled for Trunk or Treat! ha! so, after some laundry and school work, I crashed BIG TIME! Today was a long day too, but another good one. Praise Jesus! :)