Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Doxology

My kids are all home for Thanksgiving.
We will spend the day with my parents. Everyone is healthy and happy and we will be together. I feel so rich and so blessed.
The last time I visited with my Grandma Benzing, I ate dinner with both she and my Grandpa. Before the meal, we prayed and then Grandpa asked if I would sing the Doxology with them. I was so blessed. Today the words to that beloved song have been constantly flowing through my mind.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Have a Very Blessed Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

25 Years!

25 years ago today, I walked down the aisle and married the man God created perfect for me. Cliff is one of God's greatest gifts to me.
He has given me the freedom to be me and has never tried to change me into who he thought I might should be. He has always loved me for me and as someone who dealt with issues of insecurity, it has meant the world. I think that is what first drew me to him. I felt comfortable with him...I could totally be myself.
We have had a full and rich 25 years. The best of those years being the years we added 4 of the coolest, greatest kids into our household.
Josh comes home tomorrow and for a few days our family will be complete with everyone here. Nothing compares with the richness of being surrounded by family.
I'm so blessed and I'm so thankful for this life I live. God has been so good to us.
Now if you'll excuse me, my "date" will be here soon to pick me up for a special anniversary dinner!!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Adventures of a November Bride: Lost Paycheck

Fast-forward this bride 10 years or so. We were living in Clearwater, FL and we had 2, possible 3 kids at the time. My November groom was working in Tampa and driving to his workplace involved a gorgeous scenic drive over and along the coastal waterway. For some reason, I met Cliff at his place of employment and had posession of his paycheck. I must have been going to deposit it. Now FL weather being what it is, it was hot this day and of course, the air-conditioning in the car wasn't working so we had the windows down. I was just driving along this waterway with the kids, enjoying the breeze off the ocean when I saw his paycheck, that I had tucked under the driver's side visor fly out the window. I pulled over and walked along the grassy beach looking for that check. I did NOT want to tell my groom I had lost it. I finally had to give up and face the music.
The kids and I drove back to his job site. He came driving in at quitting time and I confessed. I thought maybe he could get issued another check but he wasn't even about to ask his non-sympathetic boss. We drove back to the location where I thought/hoped I remembered it flying out the window and we began the tedious process of him walking along and me driving the car to stay with him. After 45 minutes of searching and intense prayer, wouldn't you know he found that paycheck and we went on our relieved and merry way!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fall In Amish Country

Last weekend I went with some ladies to Jamesport, MO. Beautiful Amish country.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Adventures of a November Bride: Flying?

It was December, 1984. We had been married almost 1 month. Cliff had a week of leave from the Navy so we decided to go home to NY for Christmas. Our plans were to fly home so on the designated travel day, we packed and headed to the airport. Now I have to stop right here and tell you that I have an insane fear of heights and had never flown before this.

We were waiting at the airport to get on a stand-by flight. Cliff left me to go get in line and purchase our tickets (BIG MISTAKE). While I was sitting there....all alone, two pilots came walking by and asked me where we were heading. "New York," I answered. "Oh," they said, "Rough travel and turbulence that way." That was ALL I NEEDED TO HEAR!!!!!!! My poor new husband turned around to check on me and all he saw was my back heading to the door. I left the airport all together. Not only could he not talk me into flying that day, he couldn't even get me back in the airport.

We went home and called my parents who were getting ready to head to the NY airport to pick us up. We then went to our pastor's home to get a check cashed because we only had enough money for the tickets. We then loaded up our Plymouth Duster and drove through the night to NY. It was a hard dose of marital reality for my new husband. I promise, he DOES laugh about this today and even enjoys telling this story!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Adventures of a November Bride: The Scream

So Cliff and I had been married about two weeks or so. He was in taking a shower and I was just hanging out on the landing of our stairs.
For some reason, I was thinking about screams and I realized I hadn't screamed in a long, long time (I really must have had nothing better to do!) Anyways, I thought maybe I couldn't scream anymore so I decided to give my vocal chords a good test. I opened up my mouth and let out a good scream. Not a blood-curtling one but a good hearty one. Like I said, I'd only been married a couple weeks and it never dawned on me that my scream might bother my new husband. Boy did it ever. Poor guy came tearing out of the shower and down the stairs...his eyes as big as silver dollars. I wondered what the big deal was. DUH!!!!!! I had scared the poor guy half to death. Needless to say, I've never wondered about my ability to scream again and Cliff really will laugh about this

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Adventures of a November Bride: Ham 'n Ashes

This month, Cliff & I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. In honor of this event, I decided to start a little series, "Adventures of a November Bride," just a few stories from our 25 years together.

Today's adventure takes place in December of 1984. We had been married less than a month. We were just settled in our apartment in Jacksonville, FL when we had our first dinner guest. A single guy who was a good friend of Cliff's was coming over for Sunday dinner.

Ham n' Ashes part 2

Now, I knew how to cook amazing Italian food. While growing up in NY, my very Italian friend, Suzanne, thoughtfully taught me how to make the "gravy" (meat sauce), meatballs, lasagna, and chicken parmesan. This particular day, however, I decided to stretch my culinary skills and make a baked ham. Now I had seen my mom make ham before. I knew the glaze involved pineapple and brown sugar so that what I topped the ham with and slid it in the oven.

To my horror, about 46 minutes or so later, I saw smoke billowing out of the oven. PANIC!! While Cliff entertained our guest in the other room, I pulled out my ham, which was now glazed in ashed of burnt brown sugar. I almost cried. I removed the ham from the pan and scraped off all the burnt sugar. I wrapped the entire ham in foil and put it back in the oven. It turned out just fine but I've never made ham for company again and my cooking skills have greatly improved through the years.