Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry CHRISTmas

Boy, it's been a while since I've updated my blog. Mainly because I've just been so busy with, wrapping, shopping, baking & you guessed it....more shopping. Every year I tell myself that I am going to start my shopping early & every year, I am still out shopping on Christmas Eve! But it wasn't so bad this year.....we only went to Walmart & Meijer after going to a friend's house to exchange gifts & we actually had a lot of fun while we were shopping.

Today, Jim & I celebrated our 16th anniversary......hard to believe that we've been married that long already! But I love that man more & more each year! He got me a gorgeous pair of earrings & I got him a Kevin Harvick watch. Unfortunately, we weren't able to go out anywhere for dinner because by the time we got home from shopping, all the nice restaurants were already closed. Jim keeps saying that we need to change our anniversary to New Year's Eve because at least then there would always be a party to go to, lol.

Tonight, Jim, Cassie & I spent the evening watching the movie "Christmas with the Kranks". It was pretty good......seeing as how I read the book Skipping Christmas last year, I pretty much knew what the outcome was going to be. Both the book & the movie made me shed a few tears......I always tend to get teary eyed on Christmas. And probably moreso now since losing Karen & Jimmy. I know in my heart that they are spending Christmas with Jesus, but yet at the same time, I can't help but feel greedy & want them both here with us!

I've also been a little depressed the past couple of days.....another thing I go through during this time of year. I just wish I could be home in Pennsylvania with my family right now as I really do miss them & hate not being able to spend Christmas with them, but my son, dil & granddaughter will be coming over tomorrow to see us, so I felt like we had to stay here. I know once I see my granddaughter open her gifts, I'll be glad I stayed!

Well, I feel like I'm just kind of rambling on, so I guess I'll stop here. It's been a long day & tomorrow's going to be even longer. I'll leave you with 2 pictures of our Christmas tree....not the best, but they'll have to do until I hopefully get my tripod tomorrow :)

Merry Christmas everyone,

Monday, December 12, 2005


14 years ago today, my ex-husband Ron & father to my son Shawn took his own life. Why? No one really knows. He didn't leave any suicide notes. All we know is that he got into a fight with his girlfriend & told her that if she left, he was going to kill himself. Well, she left the apartment, he pulled out his gun & ended his life. He was only 26 years old at the time.

Each & every year, I dread when this day arrives! As I try to get into the spirit of the holidays, it's really hard knowing that he committed suicide so close to Christmas. I can't even put my anger & emotions into words. Our son Shawn is working in the Baltimore area right now & he's going to go visit Ron's gravesite today. I so wish I could be there with him right now! What Ron did was selfish & he doesn't realize how much he has hurt the people that love him!

Suicide is NOT the answer! And sadly, too many people commit suicide during the month of December more than any other month of the year! It's supposed to be a happy month, a month to celebrate, but instead, people get depressed & think that suicide is the easy way out. Well, let me tell you, it's not! The people you leave behind will hurt for YEARS to come! My son & I are living proof of that! Yeah, even though he was my ex-husband at the time, he will always hold a special place in my heart!

Sorry for the downer blog entry today.....I just felt like I needed to 'document' this moment. I miss you, Ron!


Friday, December 09, 2005

Photo Of The Week # 1

Yes, I realize that I am WAY behind with my POTW, but things have been really crazy this past week trying to get everything ready for Christmas. I'm only about half-way done with my shopping & still not completely done decorating the tree, but I wanted to post this picture anyway. Our tree is going to be done in all purple & gold this year & I just love it! I have some more ornaments & the bows to hang plus I have to put the ribbon on still. This picture was taken using my cross-screen filter.....told ya I would be using it a lot :)

I've also been having a lot of fun giving away some RAKs (Random Acts Of Kindness) on 2 Peas. I won 3 RAKs in one week, so I'm just repaying the kindness. I even made some homemade items for some of the prizes......I hope the recepients like them :) Now I need to get busy making my Christmas cards.....haven't even started those yet. Don't know what I'm waiting for.....I guess Christmas? LOL I can't believe that it's less than 2 1/2 weeks away! I really need to get in gear! So if you don't see me updating my blog much this month, you'll know why. I'm going to try to keep up with the POTW, though. Here's another one of my Christmas lights on my tree:

We woke up to 6+ inches of snow on the be honest, I haven't even gone outside yet today to find out exactly how much we got overnight, but it was enough to cancel school & I was able to sleep in :) Cassie woke up at 10:30 this morning & says to me "I guess we don't have school today?" LOL Figured I'd let her sleep in, too.

Off to get some more laundry done & then bowling tonight. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Blog ChallengeS

There have been a couple of blog challenges listed on 2 Peas recently & I thought I would play along. I love doing these challenges :) The first one that I'm doing is one that Wendy hosted for us to write all about ourselves in our blog & add taken outside, one close-up & another one of our choice. The first picture was taken this past summer outside by my Clematis that grows up behind our garage. Next picture is of what I consider my best eyes, which I also did a layout about. The 3rd picture is of my dh & I being silly during a photo shoot that we did together :) Now my responses to the challenge:

Your first name: Benita
Nicknames????: Benny, Bo, B, Sparky
Age: 43
Where you were born: Royal Oak, Michigan
Where you live now: Michigan
Children?: 2, 19 yo son & 15 yo daughter
Favorite Holiday tradition: Putting up our Nativity set & then having Santa bring Baby Jesus each year :)
When you started scrapping: January of 2003
How many times have you been published?: None :(
Favorite food: Pizza!
Favorite snack: I don't get them very often since they are only sold in PA, but I just love Middleswarth Bar-B-Q potato chips!
Anything else you would like to add: Besides scrapbooking, I love bowling, Nascar, decorating my home & spending lots of time with my husband & family. I've also been trying to truly enjoy life each & every day because when I lost my sister & brother-in-law last year, it made me realize just how fragile & short life is & we don't know how long we have here on earth!

The next challenge was hosted by Sophia for us to write about our favorite holiday memory, so here is mine. I'd definitely have to say that my best holiday memory is of the year that Jim & I got married, December 24, 1989. We thought it would be romantic to get married on Christmas Eve & it was, the first year. But after having kids, it was hard to find time for romance after having to stay up & wait for Santa to arrive :) Jim & I kid around all the time, saying that we should have waited until New Years Eve to get married because at least then, we would always have a party to go to, lol. Ah well.....we've already decided that once our daughter moves out, we're going to start spending our anniversary in Niagara Falls, Canada.....our favorite vacation spot in the summer & wintertime.

I also found this quiz on Karen's blog, so I thought I'd include it on mine as well. This is me, A-Z:
A-Age: 43
B-Bed size: King
C-Chore you hate: Laundry & cleaning the bathrooms!
D-Dessert you love: Chocolate Marble Cheesecake that Jim made for Thanksgiving :)
E-Essential start your day item: Breakfast with chocolate milk. I don't drink coffee.
F-Favorite actor(s): Tommy Lee Jones.
G-Gold or Silver: Both, but only gold for my rings.
H-Height: 5'9"
I-Instruments you play: I took violin lessons years ago.....just wish now that I would have stuck with them!
J-Job title: Stay at home wife & mom
K-Kids: 2, 19 yo son & 15 yo daughter.
L-Living arrangements: Me, husband Jim, daughter Cassie & 2 mutts, Onyx & Reeses.
M-Mom's name: Mae, but she goes by her middle name Louise.
O-Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Yes for my hysterectomy in January of 2000.
P-Phobia: Spiders, dentists, thunderstorms, heights, but yet I want to skydive someday :)
Q-Quote you like: We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
Sir Winston Churchill
R-Right or left handed: Right
S-Siblings: 4, I'm the youngest of 5 girls.
T-Time you woke up today: 7:00 am
U-Unique habit: Don't know how unique it is, but I have to be completely covered with blankets up to my neck when I sleep at night, even in the summertime.
V-Vegetable you hate: Pretty much all of them.
W-Worst habit: Being so obsessive about my hair.
X-X-rays you've had: Back, foot, teeth, chest.
Y-Yummy food you can make: Homemade Macaroni & Cheese.
Z- Zodiac Sign: 100% Virgo! I have all the traits of a Virgo & then some :)

I just realized that their wasn't an N in this quiz, so I'm going to add one:
N-Name something you love to do: Scrapbook, of course :), bowl, decorate & go to Nascar races.

Well, there you have :)

Until I blog again,

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Final POTD for November

I can't believe that this month has come to an end already! Wow, where does time go? It seems like just yesterday I posted my first POTD, which wasn't a very good one at all. Besides having a LOT of fun with this challenge, I also learned a lot of things along the way. I learned how to look at things in my life family, my home, the city I live in, my surroundings in general. Things that I sometimes take for granted, I now have a new appreciation for. I've also learned a little bit about photography (using the different settings on my camera, using natural light more, etc.), but at the same time, I know I still have a lot more to learn. So now I'm planning on taking some photography classes sometime next year. But one thing that I really enjoyed by doing this challenge was seeing how everyone else lives.....taking a peak into their daily lives each day & seeing what means the most to them. I'm going to try my hardest to continue taking a photo a day, but I may not be posting them everyday in my blog as it will be hard to keep up with the holidays fast approaching. I will be participating in the POTW challenge on Two Peas, though, so I'll probably just post all my pictures once or twice a week.

My first photo for today is of the wreath on my front door. I purchased this from a guy that works at the bowling center & I just love it! Yes, it's real, which is the only bad part cause I wish it could last forever. But you can bet I'll be keeping the pine cones, ornaments & bow from it when it dies :) In case you didn't notice, I also made a new banner out of my wreath picture. Not sure if I like it yet or not.....may be changing it again once I take some more Christmas pictures.

The next picture is of our Christmas stockings. Since we no longer have a fireplace (although we are seriously thinking about putting one back in), we hang our stockings on the railing going upstairs. It's hard to believe that this will be our 6th Christmas in our home since we bought this house in September of 2000. Like I said, where does time go???

See, told ya I loved purple ;) I'm also going to be hanging some lights on the railing, as soon as time permits.

This picture is of a jacket that I just received in the mail yesterday.....I bought it off of QVC & just love it! Now if I can just get up the courage to actually wear it somewhere, lol:

I've never really been the type of person to wear 'funky' clothes like this before, but lately, I've really gotten into things like this. Guess getting old makes you realize that you have to start having some fun in life, even with your clothes :)

Lastly, here is a picture of my favorite Christmas ornament. I actually took this picture last year since my tree isn't decorated yet, but I wanted to post it here anyway. I bought this ornament last year after losing my sister & brother-in-law in a tragic motorcycle accident & everytime I look at it, I start to cry!

It's called Merry Christmas From Heaven & reads: "I love you all dearly, Now don't shed a tear, I'm spending my Christmas With Jesus this year." God, how I miss them! :(

Well, I'm going to stop here as I'm starting to get all teary-eyed from writing this & looking at this picture.

Have a wonderful Wednesday,

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Christmas Trees POTD for 11/28 & 11/29

My first POTD is actually for yesterday......this is my mini pink Christmas Tree that I have set up in my scrapbook room. When I saw it, I just knew I had to buy it as I love pink! Well, purple is really my most favorite color, but pink ranks right up there with purple :) I'll be making some more ornaments to add to it in the very near future.

Jim & I had originally planned to buy an artificial Christmas Tree this year. We even went as far as finding one that we both agreed on, paying for it, waiting for the store to get more in & then picking it up at the store. I started putting it together this morning only to find out that one of the branches was broken on it :( Just my luck! So it was as if that was telling me something.....stick to real trees! I called Jim at work & he said he could take a half day off & we would go out to the tree farm to find a real tree. Needless to say, he was VERY happy :) I really do love real trees (although I'll never admit that to Jim, lol). The scent of them just fills the whole house. The only thing I don't like about them is finding the 'perfect' tree, getting sap all over my hands & decorating them. But I guess you have to take the bad with the good sometimes, right?

On to the Photos Of The Day. We went to the Candy Cane CHRISTmas Tree Farm & searched for over an hour looking for that perfect tree. It seems that this tree farm has been hit really hard the past couple of years, so their selection of taller trees wasn't the best, but they had another tree farm ship them in some cut trees, which is what we ended up buying. Here's the pics of our tree hunt.

The tree we picked:

Jim lifting the tree into the car (yes, I helped him.....after I took the picture ;):

Into the car we go:

Yay, it's up!:

Although it probably won't be decorated for at least a couple of days. We want the branches to fall into place & besides, we have a very busy schedule for the next couple of days, so it may end up waiting until the weekend to be decorated.

There you have POTD for the past 2 days. Off to go bowling.....have a great night :)


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Purple Poinsettia POTD

Have you ever seen a Purple Poinsettia before? Well, here it is :) It's actually a type of dye or paint that they use on them.....I'm not even really sure how long it will stay purple. But isn't it just the coolest thing? They also had blue, green, yellow, & fuschia ones. I'm not really into the traditional red & green Christmas colors, so I've never really been attracted to Poinsettias before. But this one, I could keep forever......if it'll live for me, that is. Like I said in another post, I don't have a green thumb at all! But now a purple thumb.....hmmmm......we'll see :)

We're going to be decorating our Christmas tree in purple & gold this year. My dh & I decided last year that we want to rotate our colors on our tree every couple of years, so this year is the purple year. Next year, I have to do blue & silver for him (Detroit Lions colors......yuck! lol).

I also purchased an Azalea plant yesterday since it was on sale. I'm hoping it'll keep flowering for quite a while cause it's so pretty! And if it survives, I'll probably plant it outside in the Spring.
That's it for now.....think I'm gonna go scrapbook since Jim & Cassie are at a concert & I have some 'me' time :)

Have a wonderful night,

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Jim's New Toy & Shopping Spree POTD

Give a man a power tool & he's happy! :) We got a couple more inches of snow last night, so Jim went to Home Depot this morning to buy a snow blower since we've been talking about getting one for a while now. Jim acted like a kid in a candy store, lol. He couldn't wait to put that thing together so he could go out & 'play' with it. Now I just hope that the novelty of it never wears off!

We also did some MAJOR shopping today. Since we skipped Black Friday, today was our day to splurge & splurge we did. Here's a picture of the results:
See that thing with the big white eyes sticking out? That's a JUMBO Tickle Me Elmo that we purchased for our granddaughter. I can't wait to see her open it! He's even bigger than her! LOL Most of the presents in the bags are for our granddaughter & we also bought a digi camera for our son & daughter-in-law (hoping they don't read my blog :).

Not shown in the picture is our new 9 foot pre-lit Christmas Tree because we have to wait until this week to pick it up as they were sold out, but they have another shipment coming in. Jim & I actually agreed on an artificial tree & he seems very happy with the one we picked out. We bought it at English Gardens. We've never been to this store before, but we will definitely be back. This store was wonderful & all of their staff was beyond helpful & friendly. I honestly can't say enough good things about this place! I bought those purple roses that are sticking out of the bag there, along with a new angel tree topper, some ornaments & a purple (yes, purple) Poinsettia. I think I'll take a picture of that tomorrow for my POTD :)

Until then, have a wonderful evening,

Thursday, November 24, 2005

White & Wonderful Thanksgiving POTD for 11/23 & 11/24

(click on all pictures for better view)
It started snowing here Wednesday around 11:00 a.m. & this is what we ended up with.....a White Thanksgiving :) We actually only got a couple of inches, but I always love the very first snow of the season. Wednesday night, we stayed at the bowling center & had a P-A-R-T-Y!!! But I was paying for it this morning :(
Jim did all the cooking, except for the homemade Mac & Cheese (that's my job). Here's some before, during & after pics:

We weren't able to get any after pictures of the turkey.....long story there. Jim decided to cook it in our Nesco Roaster instead of taking up all the room in the oven. Well let's just say, we won't be doing THAT again! LOL The top of the turkey never got brown, so we had fun trying to get the turkey out of the roaster & into our regular turkey pan to put it in the oven so it could brown. Needless to say, it was a mess! Lesson learned!

There are so many things that I am thankful for (my husband Jim, my daughter Cassie & son Shawn, my family in Pennsylvania, my home, etc. ) & another one of them was being able to see my son & granddaughter yesterday. I had to go pick them up & take them back home, but I didn't was definitely worth it! I haven't seen them since the beginning of September, so I cherished every single moment (and took LOTS of pictures :). Here are just a few (and yep, these pics WILL be scrapped!):

I still can't believe that my grandbaby is a year & a half old already! She is just the sweetest & most precious little girl (although I may be a just a bit partial, lol). I've already decided that I'm going to get Shawn & Toni a digital camera for Christmas so that they can send me more pics of my granddaughter since I don't get to see her very often. I don't wanna miss anymore pics like these ones above!

One thing I could have done without today was the temps! We reached a bone-chilling 16 degrees!

All in all, this was one of the better Thanksgivings for me. But Jim is still disappointed that his Lions lost :(
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving & you can still fit into your clothes tomorrow ;)


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

More Peaks Into My Home

I think I'm starting to run out of ideas for photos :) I couldn't think of anything very exciting to take a picture of today, so I decided to take some more pictures of things around my home that I love. The first one is of my tree. I don't even know what kind it is, but I love it & luckily, it's been loving me back! I don't really have a green thumb, so I'm very happy that this tree has survived for me. I captured this picture during one of the few brief moments that the sun was shining through our family room window today.

The next picture is of my coffee table. I recently purchased these 2 purple vases, but still haven't figured out how to display them on the table or if I want to put anything in them, so they will probably get rearranged a lot.

Here is a picture of a bookcase that I purchased at a Hallmark store that was going out of business several years ago. As soon as I saw that they were selling their displays, I just knew I had to buy this. Can you tell I love purple glass? :)

Lastly, this is a picture of my curio cabinet that is home to my Seraphim Angel collection. I started collecting this angels right after I lost my sister & brother-in-law last year. This picture isn't the best, though as it was hard to get a good one with the mirror in the back of the cabinet.

That's it for to go bowling. Have a great night,

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Hunt For Tom, Dinner & New Ribbon

I never thought that shopping for a turkey for Thanksgiving would turn into a hunt! But that's exactly what happened tonight. Meijer was having their annual sale on turkeys this week.....$10.00 off a 10-16lb. turkey. So Jim & I went to the Meijer by our house looking specifically for a Butterball because that's all Jim will cook (yes, Jim does all the cooking on Thanksgiving.....he even bakes the pumpkin pies & makes me chocolate marble cheesecake :) Of course, they didn't have any left. So we called another Meijer & the lady told us that they had plenty. We jumped in the car & drove out there only to find out that apparently she didn't even check the brand that I asked her for. ARGH! One last stop on the way home to Kroger snatched us this bird above & the best part....he's fresh, so there's no thawing involved. Fourteen pounds, which is plenty for us since both Cassie & I don't even eat turkey. Yeah, I know, you're probably thinking "how can anyone not eat turkey?" Let's just say that we're both very picky eaters :) Shawn is supposed to be coming over for Thanksgiving dinner since Toni is going to her grandma's house & Shawn's not allowed there, so it'll be nice to have him here.

The next photo is of one of our favorite (and cheapest) places to eat at.....Steak 'n Shake. I just love their cheese fries......yummy! Plus the Chocolate Chip Shakes Alive milkshakes are the best, especially when you add hot fudge to them :)I saved the best photo for last.....some gorgeous Maya Road Ribbon! I just ordered this on Friday from & it already arrived about fast! I truly love this website. Sharon, the owner, is so friendly & her prices are awesome. Plus you get free shipping on orders over $10 & she includes some Pixie Stixs with your order, which Cassie always confiscates from me :) If you place an order with her, feel free to give my name as a referral.
That's it for tonight.....I'm pooped from hunting for Tom!


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Shopping Spree & Sad Day In Nascar

Yesterday, The Scrapbook Emporium was having a 5th Birthday Sale with everything in the store 20% off. This was my first time going to this LSS & I couldn't pass up a sale :) Here is what I ended up bringing home with me: some Christmas papers (SEI & Reminisce which are shiny), Basic Grey chipboard monograms, Making Memories Christmas Foam Stamps & some brads for a swap I'm working on, some Fasternater Holiday Staples (really cool!) 2 sets of Karen Burniston Epoxy Stickers, a rub-on tool & some white markers (2 of them are gel pens & the other one is a white chalk pen). I also bought some things for my Secret Santa that I'm participating in on 2 Peas, but I couldn't include them in this picture in case she reads my blog :) I wasn't real impressed with this LSS, though. The way they had their displays just kinda scattered throughout made it hard to really find anything. Plus they didn't have the best paper selection to choose from. Ah well, I'm happy with what I did buy :)

Today is a sad day for me as it was Rusty's final Nascar race. When they interviewed him after the race today, I literally cried! I'm gonna miss seeing him in that # 2! I took these pictures of just some of my Rusty memorabilia that I have hanging in my scraproom:

That's it for now. Hopefully tomorrow, I'll have a more exciting POTD to post.

Have a great night,

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tis The Season POTD

(click on images to enlarge)
Jim, Cassie & I went out shopping tonight & on the way home, I knew exactly what I wanted to take some pictures of for my POTD. This is Olde World Canterbury Village which is home to Always Christmas, one of the best places here in Michigan to shop for holiday decorations. If this place doesn't put you in the mood for Christmas, nothing will! I love driving by here, even when it's not the holiday season because it's just a beautiful little shopping center. The pictures didn't turn out the best because I had a husband & daughter that were getting impatient & wanted to go home.....the nerve of them not giving me time to take pictures! :)

Mr, Mrs & baby snowmen.
Santa's train.
The reindeer legs actually 'move'.
These trees run along the road as you drive by Canterbury Village.

Hope these pictures gave you some Christmas spirit :)

Have a great night,