Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Today I Was...

Today (Monday) I was a:
1. Chauffer
2. personal shopper
3. chef
4. dog catcher
5. daughter
6. friend
7. homework coach
8. TV viewer
9. host
10. dental consultant
11. maid
12. listener
13. mom
14. encourager
15. animal care-giver
16. wife
17. reader/student

*Today I was loved...by an amazing God and a not-so-perfect but totally amazing group of people I call family.

Friday, October 23, 2009

In the DVD series of "Sarah Plain and Tall," Sarah refers to her Aunts, who live in Cape Cod, as "The Treasures." That's exactly how I would refer to my grandmothers...Treasures.
I have been asked to talk about "Journaling" at our up-coming women's retreat. I have journaled since I was in the 5th grade....34 years. I knew my Grandma Adrian had kept a journal towards the end of her life. We had gone to see her about 2 weeks before she died and I remembered seeing my Grandpa continuing the journal because the cancer had gotten so bad. I asked my aunt the other day if I could read them. I did not know there were 12!! I started reading on Tuesday evening and haven't been able to put them down since. The earliest journal starts in 1939!! The story of her life on the farm in South Dakota...she wasn't even married yet.
I'm especially enjoying reading about her life here in Kansas. Since I live a mile from where they lived, I know all the places and alot of the people she writes about. I can see it all so vividly in my mind. Its been an incredible week. I feel as though I've been able to go back and spend some time with her. It's been amazing because I have missed her so much since her passing in 1985. I was just 2 months pregnant with Joshua at the time and she even wrote about how they would become great-grandparents....she didn't live to see the baby.
I hope one day my children and grandchildren will sit and treasure my journals as I have hers.
Grandma's Journals
The earliest one...1939-1944.

December 7, 1941..."Japan declares war on the U.S. this afternoon" (Pearl Harbor)

November 24, 2984....Mine & Cliff's wedding day....Grandma documented the entire weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stolen Pictures

I totally stole these pictures from my sister, Elizabeth. I give her total credit for the photography...she is an excellent photographer. I just LOVE these pictures of my youngest son, Jacob, and my nephew, Sam.
Jacob is 16 and a big guy with and very tender heart. Sam is his little buddy when we get to see my sister and her family (which is not near enough) and Jacob enjoys his company.
These were taken at my Grandpa Benzing's funeral last May. Sam made his way over to Jacob at the graveside and my sister so captured their relationship and Jacob's soft heart. I can get a little teary everytime I look at them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Extra Income and Fun

A couple years ago, Cliff started officiating football games at our local sports association to supplement our income. Last year he also took over most of the maintenance for the three fields. He and Jacob mow the yard lines, paint them, place out all the field markers and anything else that needs to be done so the fields are ready to go for the early Saturday morning games.
Usually Cliff will like to go and get started before Jacob gets out of school on Fridays...so guess who gets to be his lovely assistant?? ME. I have informed him, however, that I am NOT the "gopher!"
I have to say that it isn't a bad deal. I kind of like being down there in the open fields in the beautiful fall weather we are having. One day, I decided to bring the camera along. The day was pristine Autumn weather!! (The next week it was cold and rainy and it wasn't fun anymore!)
I've also spent alot of time with my crazy son, Jacob, working on one task or another. It's been good.

You seriously didn't think we walked all over did you?? Can I tell you how fun this thing is to drive??

The 10-yard line across all 3 fields

Soy beans...ready for harvest.

Looking across two fields.

Down the 50-yard line. (And a little fun with photo editing)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Racing with My Brother

Did I ever tell you that I'm a SERIOUS NASCAR fan? Yep, I LOVE those races...ALL of them. I watch the trucks, Nationwide Series, and of course, the Big guys in Sprint Cup. Several years ago, the Kansas Speedway was built just a couple miles from us. The last time I went was 2 years ago, on Friday when they have some practices and qualifying. It was alot of fun but it was in mid-September and HOT. I think I got the worst sunburn of my life because it never dawned on me to get some sunscreen.
This year, however, NASCAR changed their schedule and the race was the first weekend of October. Beautiful fall weather and nice low temps!!
My brother called sometime this past summer and wondered if we wanted to go to a race when he came to town. Now, I have to stop here and say that as much as people are surprised to find out that I love NASCAR racing, I am more surprised that my brother is a fan. This is something I'd never, in a million years think we'd have in common!!! Needless to say, I ordered two tickets for Cliff and I. I felt bad about the kids but after all the lay-offs this year, I just couldn't afford them.
The day before the race, a friend of Cliff's offered us two additional tickets for FREE. Oh yeah!! I can always afford FREE!! So the kids got to go too!!
I just love the rumble of those engines and the smell of the fuel in the air. Amazing!! Below is just a sampling of the day. In spite of Jon's migraine and me not being able to find my car, a great time was had by all! Driver Introductions

Sea of Humanity

Getting Ready to Race...Kyle Bush...NOT a fan of this guy!!

Cliff and Emily

One of my favorite sights...the pit crews lined up for the National Anthem and Prayer

Jon, Dad, Jacob & Emily (Notice dad's green ear plugs?) It was LOUD!!

Carl Edward's pit stop

Last caution...Logano took the lead from Kyle Bush on this restart

Logano doing burnouts

Victory Lane

Friday, October 16, 2009

Josh's Recital Day

Last Friday we drove 3 hours to south-central Kansas for Josh's Senior Voice Recital. I was so excited because we haven't seen Josh since our last trip in July. So we decided to make a day of it. We got there early afternoon and picked him up. Oh how good it is to spend time with him!! The college is in a cute little college town and going "downtown" is like going back in time. Victorian looking houses and little shops that could have come straight out of the 40's or 50's. We went into an office supply/gift store that still has all the old fixtures and flooring. One of my favorite stores is and second-hand store...sort of like a Goodwill and antique store combined but their prices are low, low, low!! I bought two books and a stocking-stuffer and spent an entire $1.43!!
By the time we were done shopping, Grandma and Grandpa got to town and we had a family dinner at Applebees.
The highlight of the evening, however, was the recital. It was an hour in length and Joshua and his friend, Kelly alternated solos and ended the evening with a duet. It was wonderful. They both did and excellent job!
When he entered the chapel, I got all teary. It surprised me...I could have bawled and bawled looking at my son...now a man...yet at the same time, seeing the little boy with full-cheeks.
We ended the evening at McDonalds...coffee for some, soft drinks for others before saying goodbye. He's been gone for 4 years now and saying goodbye does not get easier. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving when I'll have all 4 of my kids together. I took those times for granted when they were young....I now treasure them!!

Josh and Kelly

With Soy Yen, their vocal coach, who is amazing!!

Very proud mom!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Busy, Busy

I haven't abandoned my blog. I've just been SUPER busy!!!!! I can only work on it when I come to the library and lately I just haven't found time to get over here. Look for several new posts with tons of pictures either this weekend or Monday. Josh is giving his Junior Recital on Friday evening. We, of course, are heading down to hear him sing...can't wait!!!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Brother's Weekend

My brother, Jonathan, is coming tomorrow with his little son. I'm so excited to see him since its been over a year since I last saw him. We've got a whirl-wind weekend planned around here. Mom & I got his back (or maybe I should say his stomach) with his favorite meals...lasagna, chili, red cake. It's also race weekend here in KC. We're heading out there on Saturday....even taking dad!!!!! And as if it couldn't get much better, the weather is perfect fall weather....mid 60's and clear and sunny. Church is on Sunday and then he flies out on Monday.