Monday, February 28, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 28

Day 28: A Picture of Something You Are Afraid Of:

I am very, very, very, very afraid of heights!! I've had this fear as long as I can remember.
It's horrible, it's irrational and has led to more than one panic attack!!
This is a picture of me, my brother, sister, and our cousins on top of one of the World Trade Center towers in can see the corner of the second tower in the left side of the picture. You can also get a sense of how high up we are! My sister is the one casually leaning on the railing....I'm the one in front of her....I'm smiling but I know I was ready to go back in and DOWN!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 27

Day 27: A Picture of You and a Family Member:
This is me & my dad. I think I was approximately 3-4 weeks old. I LOVE this picture. I chose my dad for this post because... 1) I think I may have a total of 2 or 3 pictures of just me & my dad. And 2) My dad is my hero. He really is. He's not perfect but he's such a good man and he's been such a good dad to me. He's given me such an incredible earthly picture of what my Heavenly Father's love is all about.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 26

Day 26: A Picture of Something That Means Alot To You:

Today it is rainy, icy, snowy and I can't wait to go home and settle in for the evening. No matter how hectic the day, at the end of it I love to go home to my little house. I've tried to make my house peaceful and relaxing. Yep, there's quite a bit of work that needs to be done to it...after all, it is 101 years old, but its a cute little house, full of history and personality and it's right where I want to be!

Friday, February 25, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 25

Day 25: A Picture of Your Day:

I confess, I am not writing this post on the is the 23rd so I am giving you a picture of my day today. The above picture captures what I feel like today. I've got alot going on all at the same time today and to be honest, I feel a little overwhelmed. It doesn't help anything that I've been a bit under the weather with some sinus/allergy junk and today I've got a headache that won't quit. I took Excederine for the headache...didn't help the headache, just gave me the jitters!
Anyhow, I'm working on my blog, doing some research for work, got laundry going and in about an hour I've got to go pick up my girl from school & take her home. 20 minutes later, I go back & get my boy from school and take him to a job interview. In the meantime I've got to find time yet to do some dishes and make dinner and get to church on time.
HOWEVER, I'm NOT complaining....having two kids grown and gone already, I treasure this short but alone time with each kid. They fill me in on their day. My son is so excited about this job interview and I want him to know he can ALWAYS count on me....especially if it involves something thats so important to him! These days are fast & fleeting where my kids are concerned. Boy will graduate in 2 1/2 short months. I'm not quite ready....what parent ever is?
And dinner? Let's just say cooking dinner is alot different these days that it was when I had 4 kids at home. Its just a whole lot less hectic. AND it makes my husband's day when he walks into the house after work and smells dinner. He looks forward to that all day. I know, its such a small thing and it makes such a big difference to him. He's been working long, long hours these days. Its seems to be the least that I can do and I actually do enjoy it (most nights).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 24

Day 24: A Picture of Something You Wish You Could Change:
I have no picture for this one and its a little hard to talk about. The thing that instantly came to my mind that I wish I could change is child abuse. The thought of children, cowering in fear from the people who are supposed to protect them is more than my mind can handle. I have little-to-no grace for parents who put their children in dangerous situations or treat them like trash.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 23

Day 23: A Picture of Your Favorite Book:

This one was H.A.R.D. because I LOVE to read! I decided to choose for my favorite book one that I have turned to year after year since a dear friend gave me a copy back in 1994. I do LOVE this book and I think next to God's Word it has done more my Christian walk than any other book I've read.
While I'm on the subject of reading, let me just say this. I know the latest trend is electronic readers and books. I know from a practical standpoint, they make so much sense. But for me, there is nothing that will ever take the place of the tactile feeling of reading an actual book. I've tried reading e-books but they just don't work for me. I want an actual paper book.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 22

Day 22: A Picture of Something You Wish You Were Better At:
I wish I were better at gardening & yard work. I think the better way to phrase it would be to say that I wish I actually enjoyed it. I like the idea of gardening and beautiful plant beds but the idea of kneeling over little plants in 90% humidity is not my idea of a wonderful afternoon. I also do not posess a green thumb. I don't even have one houseplant because they do not survive in my house.

Monday, February 21, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 21

Day 21: A Picture of Something You'd Like to Forget:

I would like to forget all the times I've hurt people...especially people I love. Whether by careless words or actions, whether intentional or not. I try to be careful. I try to choose my words carefully. I try but am not always successful. I've seen the looks on faces and I've know I stepped past a boundary line. I've apologized but sometimes those hurt looks stay with you for a while.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 20

Day 20: A Picture of Someplace You'd Like to Travel:

OK, I have to count out overseas travel because I will NOT fly. I have a horrible fear and airplanes are OUT. Hence, the RV trip I talked about a few days ago.
One place I've been wanting to visit for years is Mt. Rushmore. Not sure why. I've just always wanted to go there and take it all in.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 19

Day 19: A Picture and A Letter:

This is a grouping of special cards & letter I have kept close for years.
They are so valuable to me.
  • A couple of them are from my Grandma Adrian....a letter she wrote me when she found out I was pregnant with her first great-grandchild and the last birthday card I received from her, two weeks before she passed away.
  • A Christmas card from my Grandma Benzing.
  • A Card & letter from Lillian Huffines - an older lady who was in our church in Baltimore. When Amy was born, my mom would take her into the sanctuary so the older ladies could see her. Ms. Lillian fell in love with her and when we moved to FL just a few short months later, Ms. Lillian always sent a card with a few dollars for Christmas & Amy's birthday...for 20 years! Cards came until one year, Amy's birthday passed with no card and we got word that Ms. Lillian has passed on.
  • A letter I received from my Aunt Kathy on the morning of my wedding. What made this so special is that her husband, my Uncle Gene had passed away just a few months prior. She wrote me some encouraging words and some things she learned from her marriage. I saved it all these years because I felt she had such a good perspective on cherishing your spouse.
  • A Christmas card from a dear friend, Margaret O'dell. Margaret was the lady who introduced Cliff & I. Cliff knew her when he was a little boy in Georgia. Margaret had moved to NY and was in our church and when Cliff was stationed in NY during his years in the Navy, he looked up Margaret and she introduced us and the rest is history. We didn't know it at the time but this would be the last card & letter we received from her. We did not know how sick she was with cancer.

Friday, February 18, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 18

Day 18: A Picture of Your Biggest Insecurity:

Whew....this one is HARD!!!! No, my biggest insecurity is NOT my son, Josh. My biggest insecurity is myself! I have battled insecurity issues for years and years. Fears of not being good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Fears of being stupid or not fitting in. I know most of that is normal for most teenagers but I still battle alot of that today. I have had to learn how to deal with it. It's a matter of taking them daily....sometimes several times a day to God. It's a matter of renewing my mind in His Word which tells me exactly who I am in Him.
No, it isn't always easy. Somedays I let the entire day go by without renewing my mind and I know it. Somedays I just don't want to put out the effort or do the work because, frankly, it is work. The results, however, are worth it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 17

Day 17: A Picture of Something that has Impacted Your Life Recently:

January 29, 2010, I didn't know what was going to happen to us. This was the day Cliff lost the job he had held for 3 years and, given the state of the economy, I just wasn't sure how things were going to turn out. I knew that God would take care of us and provide, which He did, but, as with most people, I appreciate the security that comes with having a job.
A good friend of ours at church is in management at Conway freight and it just seemed from the moment this friend called Cliff through getting haz-mat added to his license, through the interviews, everything just feel into place.
God definately shut a door in our lives but opened a much, much better one!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 16

Day 16: A Picture of Someone Who Inspires You:

Seriously, this one was kind of hard because there are so many people who inspire me. In the last several years, however, one of the most inspiring things I've done is read about the 20 years of life contained in my grandmother's journals. The challenges of being a new wife and mother, how she supported my grandpa when he sold the farm and went to college to become a minister. How she handled the ministry as a pastor's wife and mom. How she loved her children and grandchildren. How she loved Jesus and how she bravely dealt with her cancer and faced death. It was quite something to read her words in her own hand and its an experience I treasure.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 15

Day 15: A Picture of Something You Want to Do Before You Die:

Ok, I don't know if this is like my "bucket list" but it is two things I would like to do that I haven't done yet....and if you're looking for something very deep and profound here....sorry!!
I would LOVE to take an RV trip and see the good old USA....mostly west of Kansas City and south of us.
I would also like to have grandchildren. Please don't think I'm rushing my adult kids in any way....its just something I'm looking forward to.

Monday, February 14, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 14

Day 14: A Picture of Someone You Could Never Imagine Your Life Without:

These two picture are representative of my family. I cannot nor do I want to imagine living my life without any one of them. Cliff or any of my kids, my mom or day, or my brother, sister or any of their families. But it doesn't stop there. That feeling continues to my extended family all over this country. We are spread far but on the other hand we are close.
Yes, this particular day was hard to do and not nice to think about but on the other hand, it forces me to once again stop, be thankful, and appreciate all the people in my life.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 13

Day 13: A Picture of Your Favorite Band or Artist:

Right now, I am loving the music of Chris Tomlin.
There is something about his worship songs that I connect with. They are fairly straight forward and have depth yet are simple so they are fairly easy to sing along with...which I do! And, if you attend our church, so do you as we use quite a few of them on Sunday mornings!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 12

Day 12: A Picture of Something You Love:

I love, love, love my church. I love working there. I love my job. I love the people I work with. I love going in on Sunday morning and working with our Worship Arts Teams. They are the best and we have a good time as we prepare to give our best through the ministry of worship. I love my pastor (who also happens to be my dad). I love that he is on Sunday what he is through the week. He is man who loves God and desires to give Him his best. I love our community....friends who I have the privilege of seeing week after week. I look forward to seeing them like I look forward to family gatherings. I've been at Liberty for 14 years now and I look forward to many, many more years to come.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beautiful Pictures = A Beautiful Layout

On May 9, 2009, our family gather in Ohio for the memorial service of my Grandpa Benzing. He was a good man, a devout man of God who also served his country during World War II. I had never attended a military graveside service until this one. My sister, Elizabeth, and my cousin-in-law, Laura took some stunning pictures which they both posted online. I copied all of them to my computer, knowing I wanted to preserve them in one of my scrapbooks. I wasn't sure what to do until I was looking through a magazine and came across this quote: "The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example." It was the inspiration I needed. I changed the photos to black & white in photoshop and left the colors of the flag as well as my Uncle Ron's uniform as he saluted the casket. I used an 8x10 for my main photo and 4x6 for the others. I kept the layout very simple because I wanted the dramatic photos to speak for themselves.

30 Day Challenge - Day 11

Day 11: A Picture of Something You Hate:

This map show the distance between myself, my brother and my sister. He lives in Tampa, FL and she lives in Macon, GA. Sometimes its hard. I miss them. I miss their families. I hate that times passes so fast and I have little nieces and nephews with whom I have little-to-no relationship with. It's the way it is and we live with it but it doesn't mean I have to like it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 10

Day 10: A Picture of the Person You Do the Craziest Things With:

This one was seriously a no-brainer. My mom and I have spent alot of time together over the past 14 years we've been here in KS. We've shared alot of crazy "incidents"....from making wrong turns to losing kids! One of our craziest times was when we were ready to leave work and I could NOT find my keys. We looked for over an hour and at this point my mom was praying a very desperate prayer for God to help us locate those keys. As it turns out, they were on a table in front of us the entire of us had covered them with our coat. Yep...Good times!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 9

Day 9: A Picture of the Person Who Has Gotten You Through the Most.

Hands down, this is my husband, Cliff. He's seen me at my best and he's seen me at my worst. We've been through alot together and we've been together 27 years!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 8

Day 8: A Picture That Makes You Laugh:

This one was HARD!! I LOVE this picture. My daughter, Emily, and her cousin Anna. We were at Stone Mountain, GA. far were they going to see?? Funny!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 7

Day 7: A picture of your most treasured item:

Well, this one's far, my most treasured items are my four kids. I love my pictures and scrapbooks and I have a few things of my grandmother's but nothing comes even close to the treasure of my children!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 26

Day 26: A Picture of Something That Means Alot

To You:

Ok, this one was tough because really, how can you pick just one? I'm just going to pick a special moment from a few months ago that I've already blogged about but it was one of the things that meant alot to me.

When your kids are small, you pour and pour into them...and when their babies and toddlers, you get back giggles, wet kisses, soft little sighes and the coveted utterance of mama and dada. Then you reach the stage where they pick you dandelions and write sweet little papers at school about why their mom or dad is the best mom or dad in the world. And then they reach their upper teen years and beyond and those sweet little moments are almost non-existent on a daily fact, some days you feel like "public enemy #1" while you are just trying to help guide them into adulthood.

My kids have not ever been mean but we have had our moments...I had them with my parents too. And you enter this stage where you just wonder how your relationship is going to turn out. Will they still include me? Do they still need me? Do I matter to them? You know you do but there are days when you just don't feel like it...but you stay there in the background of their lives, cheering them up, supporting them in ways they cant see, know, or even understand....taking them before the throne of God in your prayers.

And all of the sudden, out of no-where, they give back.

That's what my son, Josh did for me at his recital when he sang this song for me. So today, instead of a picture, you get a video. I don't know why they take so long to upload...if you haven't seen it, wait for it because its worth it.

30 Day Challenge - Day 6

Day 6: A picture of a person you'd like to trade places with for a day:

I have no picture for this one because, frankly, I like my life...even with all its ups and downs its good and its mine. Yes, I'd like a new car or a dishwasher but that doesn't mean I'm not content...I am. I love where I'm at and I like where I'm heading. So, I don't want to trade.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 5

Day 5: A picture of your favorite memory:

I have so many good memories! I decided to choose my most favorite childhood memories...spending time with my grandparents. This is the scene I would see after we drove all night to get to my Ohio grandparents. When I'd see this motel sign, I'd get so excited because I knew my grandparents were right around the corner.
My grandmother's are my pearls...they were so special and they made me feel so special. I miss them.

Friday, February 4, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 4

Day 4: Your Night:

This one was a little difficult. I chose a picture of a full moon I took out on my front porch last year. Most of my evenings/nights consist of cooking & eating dinner, watching a TV show, reading or scrapbooking, and trying to make myself go to bed at a decent hour (which is difficult to do when you're a serious night owl!) I LOVE the nightime....if I didn't have to get up I would have myself programmed to stay up all night....I feel my most creative at night!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 3

Day 4: A picture of the cast of your favorite TV show:
Well, I wasn't sure what show to go with here....CSI, NCIS, Blue Bloods, Human Target, Everybody Loves Raymond, the end, however, I decided to go with my all-time favorite and a timeless classic:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 2

Day 2: A picture of you & the person you've been closest with the longest:

I could have gone with Cliff here but obviously I've known my parents my ENTIRE life and I'm still very close to well as my brother and sister.
This kind of funny picture was taken in 1970 (as if you couldn't guess) and I'm the little girl in the front with the long hair.
I'm glad to live so close to my parents. Don't quite know what I'd do without them...I'm 45 and a mom of 4 yet I still need my mom and dad. Wish I lived closer to my siblings but it just isn't to be at this time in our lives.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 1

I've seen this 30-Day Challenge going around on Facebook.

I thought it would be some fun blog prompts!

So here we go....

Day One: A Photo of Yourself with Five Facts:
1. I'm overall pretty content and happy with most parts of my life.
2. Most evenings I'm glad to be home and watch a good TV show.
3. I'm trying to not take things or people for granted...especially my family.
4. My faith and my family are the most important things in my life.
5. It's been hard but I've learned to laugh at myself and not take so much too seriously.