Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 1 & 2

The "before" pictures...I should have taken them with the neon yellow cabinet covers on the back that Big Bear is painting for me!!  This room was a pre-k room and the 4th grade rooms were outside in a trailer, so while it is A LOT of work to clean it up and get it ready, I am not going to complain because I'd rather do it than be in a trailer.  I taught summer school in the trailers this summer and that was enough for me! :)  Luckily, movers brought the desks in and most of the student and teacher stuff from the 4th grade trailer, so I am just steadily moving in my stuff.  I think tomorrow is the last load!! Woohoo!!!
And, in 14 years of teaching, I've never had a bathroom IN the classroom.  Not sure how I feel about it, but that is what that blue door is in the back.
Note the two-tone paint above the smartboard.  Big Bear is about to paint that too!!  You see the neon yellow as he's covering it in this picture!!  YUCK!  Thanks Big Bear!!  I forgot to take a picture of the coat rack.  It was red, and he covered it with blue too.  Lots of colors happening...cRaZy!!
Yes, a water fountain too!!  Again, we'll see how it goes.  I mean, I guess we won't have a reason to leave the room! ha!  Not sure about the divided floor yet either and how to work it, but the room feels huge!!
After day 1: (blue above the smartboard)
 Day 1 consisted mainly of CLEANING (lots of bleaching) and painting:
 End of Day 1:  Big Bear touched up the cabinet and painted the wall around the door blue.  It was white and NASTY.  Then, if you look to the left of the cabinet, the coat rack was red, and he painted it blue.
Day 2 (Monday), I was on my own.  I brought a load of stuff from home and then began the war of the contact paper and the cabinet shelves.  Oh FUN! (not!!!)
Don't you love the rockin' counter top color?!? haha!  I've put in a work order for new ones.  We'll see how long it takes...but day 2:  lots of stuff found a "home" after the contact paper went down and the bottom cabinet covers went back on.  (Yes, there is one missing.  Somehow I will cover it until the work order for real cabinet doors gets completed.)
End of day 2: contact paper down and finding homes for stuff. :)
Today (day 3), I forgot to take a picture. I'll take one in the morning.  I got my computers set up and my class library situated.  Took one more load in the Tahoe and found a "home" for more stuff.  Set up my file cabinet and covered one bulletin board.  So far, life in room 103 is coming right along....good thing I like to clean and organize. :)  (I'm working hard now so when Bubba Bear comes home, I can chill at home for a few days before school starts!!!)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Next Chapter...

You can pretty much file this summer (along with the entire year of 2011) away as craptastic!!  I'll keep it as simple as I can, you know the Benson's are nothing without drama or issues.  I mean, problems just FOLLOW us!!  Basically, this summer during summer school, I had my worst summer school experience.  Shortly after it started, my principal unexpectedly was moved to another school (the one I where I was teaching summer school).  Everyone rallied to try and keep her at our school.  We didn't win. :(  Made the news and everything!! ha!  So....enter a summer full of stress and up's and down's and what if's.  Pretty much each day was spent wondering IF I could follow my principal, IF there would be an opening, IF it would get approved, what to do IF it didn't, talking to other options and even considering just taking a year off from education. In the middle of all that, my entire classroom was packed up, moved, and has been sitting in my garage:
There is so much more stress to the story, (including not getting to say goodbye to my coworkers or my students. :(  That's probably the saddest part!!  I cry when I think my students are going to wonder where I am!!) but I don't even want to talk about it or remember it.  I just want to put 2011 and this summer behind me and get on with the POSITIVE!!!  So....in GOOD NEWS, my transfer was approved.  I get to work for a principal that I respect!!  And, slowly, my classroom is coming together and I am moving in.  One day at a time...didn't I just do this last year?!? LOL!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

This is for the BFF! :)

 Ok, Michelle, I am going to talk you through the picks before anyone else snatches theirs up.  Below with Autumn is the fawn female (sweet, sweet, sweet disposition!!), the solid white female (one of the smallest ones), and the white male with the brown spot (one of the biggest ones).
In the crew above, the white with the brown/black eye female (super sweet and most personality), and the brindle female in the middle (most dominant personality in the litter).
Autumn's pick is the white with brown spot on the bum, but I think he is going to be a big boy.  You need a girl - they usually stay smaller.  And, you need to nix the strong personality.  You need laid back.
 I can narrow it down to three for you - the solid white female (I think beside brown dot above), the fawn female below or the white with brown eye.  Honestly, any of those would work with your family.  Let JACOB pick which one he thinks is cutest!!!  :)
Now, show CHRIS this post.  I promise to walk you through puppy training.  It is as easy as one word - CRATE!  Trust me on this! :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

And the winner is...

We started out with our top 4 and pulled them out to not be distracted by the others.  My niece helped us with the personality tests I found on the internet that proved to be worthless!! ha!  She pretty much held on to her first pick all night ensuring he wouldn't be chosen.  She has a plot of her own for the white one with the brown spot on his bum below. :)

Puppy 1 - white with brown spot on bum
Puppy 2 - Pup formally known as Rue :)
Puppy 3 - brindle boy
Puppy 4 - white girl with brown eye
So...I had the hardest time with this white girl (look at that face begging me!!) and the brindle boy. So, we then had it narrowed down to 2.
 Oh my!!  Both adorable.  What to do?!?  White one is a girl.  Brindle is a boy.  White one has cute personality and is the runt so may stay a little smaller.  Brindle one has a face that I adore and seems to be very laid back and lazy.  He has massive feet and is going to be big!!  Which one?  Back and forth.  Back and forth.
Bubba Bear Benson :)

In the end, I couldn't resist his face and from the beginning it was Big Bear's #1 choice.  He's gonna be a big boy!!  I just hope he stays as laid back as he is now because if so, he is the perfect brother for our Rex.  2 more weeks and he gets to come home.  Next week, he gets to meet Rex and Stella.  :)
 We love you already Bubba Bear!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson


I am so glad that I didn't listen to some others opinions of this book.  I have put it off for awhile because I had heard it was so hard to get into and it would take about 200 pages before I would like it.  Then, I read so many mixed reviews.  But, it only took me about 50 pages to know I was hooked.  I finished it in 2 1/2 days.  This is the kind of book I usually read though - which is why I sleep with a nightlight at the age of 39 and am paranoid!! :)  There are lots of reviews and talk about this book, but if you like mysteries, I think you will like it.

Here's a summary:
Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, ruthless computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves. Written by Music Box Films

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy Place = boxer puppies!

Above: 1 day old!  YES, I drove home as soon as I could!! :)

1 week old ~ above is the little girl we originally had picked out, but she has too strong of a personality to work with Stella.  So, we are back to the drawing board.  She is pretty girl though!!
Below are 2 week old pics...and yes, I have been home once a week to see the precious babies!!  How could I resist?!?
Week 3 ~ eating real food!!  Now, it starts to get FUN!
 3 weeks old:
 4 weeks old and more precious by the day!!! 
Now, pick one, wish you'd picked the other!!! ha!  If I wasn't so dead set on not getting another fawn with a black mask, I'd pick that sweet girl!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012


And, I can't believe I've kept it for months!!!  It's time to reveal since in 3 weeks, he or she will be coming home!!!  Here's the deal...what better gift when God says no to a two-legged child than for Him to send us a four-legged one?!?  Yep, we are getting a puppy!!  Do we need another dog?  No.  Do I care?  No!  Does Nala?  Maybe! ha!  We thought we had our baby picked out, but now their personalities are developing and I don't think she will be a good mix with Stella, so we are back to square 1...or rather down to 6 others!! :)
The best part is that this bloodline of boxers has been in our family for over 30 years.  These pups great-great-great grandpa was my first ever boxer! These pictures were taken on Saturday and they were 4 weeks old.  This weekend, we are going to try to make our final decision.  My mom and I have the same top 3 picks...like mother, like daughter.  She taught me well! :)  I'll keep you posted on our little secret.  Feel free to send me some boy name ideas!!  We had Roux (or Rue, depending on how you spell it) picked out for the girl.  But, no real good ones for a boy.  Right now, we have Dewey (think me=librarian/dewey decimal system) or Bubba.  I like Bogey because it means one over in golf and we are definitely one over but Kevin thinks it will jinx his golf game!
Oh the cuteness!!!!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Horse Shows!!

The past two Saturday's I've been blessed by having time to go watch my family ride in the horse shows.  My niece is getting so FAST during her events that it is next to impossible to get a good picture without a blurr!!!  I think it is so awesome that she shares this love with my Mom.  And, I know it has to be a huge help to my Mom now that Autumn is older. Every Saturday when I've gotten to the house, Autumn is bathing all the horses herself!!  Seems like it was just a year ago that she on a pony!!! 
 This is Dad on Chester, the newest horse.  Apparently this is one that even I could ride.  He likes to WALK! :)

She gets more beautiful every day!!!  And, yes, she takes 3 different horses.  There are different horses to ride for different events...and different saddles, blankets, outfits, bridles...it's a lot of work!! (in 100 degree weather!!)  Good thing she has awesome grandparents!! :)

Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell


This book is the newest in one of my favorite series, Kay Scarpetta series.  You would actually be lost if you tried to read it without the others I think.  (My other fav series is Alex Cross)  It was good but not GREAT.  Usually I am sucked in from the get-go.

Here is the order for the Kay Scarpetta series if you like murder mystery type stuff.  She is a medical examiner with an FBI husband. :)
1.Postmortem (1990)
2.Body of Evidence (1991)
3. All That Remain (1992)
4. Cruel and Unusual (1993)
5. The Body Farm (1994)
6. From Potter's Field (1995)
7. Cause of Death (1996)
8. Unnatural Exposure (1997)
9. Point of Origin (1998)
10. Black Notice (1999)
11. The Last Precinct (2000)
12. Blow Fly (2003)
13. Trace (2004)
14. Predator (2005)
15. Book of the Dead (2007)
16. Scarpetta (2008)
17. The Scarpetta Factor (2009)
18. Port Mortuary (2010)
19. Red Mist (2011)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Camping Trip!!

The excitement of just getting to camp and finding new sticks to play with. :)
We left Sunday and headed to the lake with the pups until today.  I love going when the weekend is over because we practically have the place to ourselves.  It's awesome!!  We got a sweet campsite right on the water and could walk down and swim with the pups whenever we felt like it.
Stella LOVES going camping and swimming!!  She absolutely hates the water hose, but take her to the lake and she will fetch and swim all day.  This trip she got to fetch her new toy she won in the BoxAR competition. :)  The only thing that bets a tennis ball is fetching anything in the water! ha!  I do love to watch her swim though.
 This is her "I'm ready!  Just throw it!!!!" stance. :)
Occasionally, Rex will join in on the game at the end (of course).  We figured out this trip he has gotten so fat that his life jacket doesn't fit anymore.  Luckily, he never tries to venture in over his head.  He waits on the shore until Stella gets back and then tries to take it from her.
What to do when you have no can opener...pocket knife!  Thanks chef Benson!!  And, yes, we ate straight out of the can.  It's camping! :)
Dinner on the last night. 
Our view the from the picnic table in our campsite
  The geese got no reaction from the dogs.  I thought Stella might come alive and try to "retrieve". ha!
And this is when we knew it was time to come on home.  When Rex would rather go to sleep on a HOT rock than be in the water, it's time to pack up.  Poor guy!  He doesn't have as much fun as the rest of us, but he doesn't want to stay at the campsite either.  Sure wish he knew how to swim!!  We took him out over his head a few times and turned him toward shore, after a bit, he started to paddle and made it back.  That's progress. The pups have literally slept all the way home and been asleep since we got home.  They were WORN out!
Last few fetches!!  We gotta head home until next time.