Tuesday, December 21, 2010


That word doesn't even begin to describe what I'm going through right now! We are supposed to close on the house this Thursday......Thursday, the 23rd of December! But right now, nothing is even 100% guaranteed yet! We're supposed to get the final approval sometime today & then we just have to pray that nothing else comes up between now & Thursday. I have the reservation for the moving truck to be picked up Thursday afternoon, I've been packing as much as I possibly can to be able to still continue to live, but I haven't even begun to wrap any Christmas presents yet. Then to top it all off, I went down into the basement at the house we're renting to do some laundry today & saw that the water heater is leaking! JUST FREAKIN' GREAT!!! What the heck else can go wrong??? DON'T answer that! Cause at this point, I don't wanna know! All I want right now is some time to relax.....to be able to enjoy the holiday season.....to take a nice, LONG bath! Which is exactly what I plan on doing just as soon as we are settled in this:

If I don't get a chance to post again for a few weeks, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas & a wonderful & safe New Year!

Love to all,

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hard To Believe...

....that it was a year ago today that I lost my Mom! How could that be??? Where did this past year go? One year already?? I don't get it! It still hasn't even completely sunk in that she's gone! And now she's been gone a year? Maybe I still don't want to accept it. Maybe I don't want to believe it. Maybe I'm still in shock. It's been a very difficult year for me, I know that. Right after she passed away, I ended up with the swine flu (or H1N1 as they now call it), so it was like the whole month of December just flashed before my eyes last year! And now here I am, a year later, and still not dealing with losing my Mom.

It really hit me last night, as I was attempting to decorate our Christmas tree. I found this Mother ornament that I purchased last year & that's all it took for the tears to start flowing! When does it get better? People say it takes time.....sometimes I think they're wrong!

When I went to Pennsylvania this past August, I found these angel statues called The Reunion Heart. I purchased a large one for in my garden & then a smaller version that sits on my desk. I just love the poem & wanted to share it:

The Reunion Heart

Since Heaven has become your home
I sometimes feel I'm so alone;
and though we now are far apart
you hold a big piece of my heart.

I never knew how much I'd grieve
when it was time for you to leave,
or just how much my heart would ache
from that one fragment you would take.

God lets this tender hole remain
reminding me we'll meet again,
and one day all the pain will cease
when He restores the missing piece.

For Jesus heals each tiny part
that holds your memory in my heart.
This tearful heart reminds me of
when He'll unite us in His love.

And with that beautiful poem, I will end this post here.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving.....a day to be thankful. And this year, I have a LOT to be thankful for! I have a wonderful husband who is not only kind, loving, considerate & compassionate (except for when he gives me his cold!), but also a pretty good cook as he is doing almost all of the cooking today :) I'm thankful for my 2 great kids & even though they drive me up a wall sometimes, I'm glad that they're mine! I'm thankful for my family back in Pennsylvania & although I can't be home with them today, I know we are all thinking about each other & we love each other! I'm thankful for my Lord Jesus! And lastly, I'm thankful for having a wonderful realtor who has been there for us as we searched & searched & SEARCHED for a home until we finally found this one:
It is everything we've been looking for & more! 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, HUGE eat-in kitchen & even bigger pantry (okay, so I'm exaggerating a little, but the pantry is BIG!), fireplace in the family room, 2 car garage, a partially started finished walkout basement, hardwood floors in the kitchen & entryway PLUS brand new carpeting throughout the whole house! It does need some things (all appliances since it's a foreclosure & they took them all out including the garbage disposal!), a deck, garage door opener & the landscaping could use some work next Spring, but we are so happy to have finally found a home! If all goes as planned, we should be closing right before Christmas :) And now the fun begins.....packing!!! ARGH! Any volunteers to help? :)

Today is also a bittersweet Thanksgiving for me since 1 year ago today was the last time I spoke to my Mom on the phone before she passed away :( I remember our conversation like it was just yesterday! She was in a good mood & glad to hear my voice. When she told me that she loved me, I cried because I wish I would have gone home to spend Thanksgiving with her! And if I would have known that it would have been her last Thanksgiving, I would have been there! But you just never know! So hug your parents, spouses, children & family members tight and be thankful for each & every day you spend with them!

Hope you & your family have a safe & blessed Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


So much for another challenge! Seems I suck at doing challenges & never stick with them! Ah well.....I do have a LOT to be grateful for this month, even though I forgot to post about them all. Guess one of my New Year's Resolutions will be to not do any challenges, lol. I have been taking pictures of things I'm grateful for, just not everyday. So here are a few more:
I'm grateful for my right to vote, which I did on November 2nd :)
I'm grateful for my job.....which is one of the reasons why I haven't been able to keep up with this challenge! Right after Halloween, I was super busy doing the changeover to take down Halloween cards & put up Thanksgiving & Christmas cards. Having to do 5 stores has it's own challenges sometimes, but I do like my job.
I'm grateful for Facebook & all the friends I have found from my past & present :) I've connected with some old friends from high school & friends from when we lived in Virginia.
I'm grateful for this cute smiley mug. I sent this mug with some flowers in it to my Mom a few years ago & when she passed away, I got the mug back. It now sits on top of my computer & I look at it every single day & smile back at it, knowing that my Mom is smiling down on me :)
I'm grateful for Chocolate Chip Cookies! LOL This was actually a new recipe that I tried adding pudding to the dough.......they were YUMMY!!!
I'm grateful for my pets.....this is one of our mutts, Reeses.
I'll be grateful when Jim makes Pumpkin Pies out of this Pumpkin for Thanksgiving :)
Speaking of Jim, I'm grateful for having such an awesome man that knows how to Bar-B-Q! Yes, he even does it in the dark!
I'm grateful for my new Pink Ribbon Sketchers Shape-Ups Shoes. Yes, I realize they may be ugly, but they are the most comfortable shoes to wear when I'm standing on my feet at work!

As Thanksgiving approaches this week, I'm sure I'll have a LOT more to be grateful for! What are some things you're grateful for in your life?

Until next time,
Benita (the one that sucks at doing challenges!)

Monday, November 01, 2010

30 Days Of Gratitude

I was catching up on some blog reading tonight & found this challenge on Evelyn's blog called the 30 Days of Gratitude. I guess each day we are supposed to take a picture based on different things that we are grateful for. The prompt for today is Home.
Jim & I have been looking for a home for, hmmm.....longer than I care to remember! We thought we found the perfect home a few weeks ago.....we put in an offer, they counter-offered, we counter-offered their counter-offer, they accepted, we had an inspection & found out that the roof needed to be replaced badly, so we counter-offered again, but they then decided to take the home off the market :( So not only are we out $370 for the home inspection, but now we're back to the drawing board.....yet AGAIN! But hopefully, that will all change this week as we just put an offer in on another house this past weekend. Only problem.....they have multiple offers, so we are praying that ours is the best!

These pictures are of just a few of the houses we've looked at over the last several months.
We looked at private-owned homes, short sales, foreclosures.....you name it, we looked at it!
3 bedrooms, 4 bedrooms, unfinished basements, finished basements, 2 car garage, 3 car garage....the list goes on & on!
One of my favorite ones was this one pictured above, but come to find out, we couldn't finance it due to it having an in-ground pool because of the type of financing we're doing.

But my absolute favorite one will be the one we end up buying.....whenever & wherever that one is! We WILL find it! And when we do, it'll be perfect......for us :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Seriously....I'm Blogging???

Oh poor, neglected blog.....yes, it's been 3 months since I've posted on you! I didn't forget about you.....honest. See, it's this thing called Life that has taken over.....life has gotten in the way of blogging, but I promise I still love blogging & that is why I'm writing on you today :)

Above is my newest creation that I made.....my fall wreath. I've been wanting a nice looking fall wreath to put on our front door, but the ones that look really good are so expensive! So I decided to buy the stuff & make my own. I purchased a grapevine wreath for $2.39 ($3.99 minus a 40% off coupon), a leafy vine for $7.50 (half price), a floral bush for $5.00 (also half price) & 3 floral picks that have little acorns on them for 99 cents each (yep, you guessed it.....half price on those, too). So for a grand total of around $19.00, I now proudly display this wreath on my front door :)
At the end of August, Shawn & I went to Pennsylvania to visit my family along with Karen & Jimmy's grave. God, we had such a blast while we were there! We went out every night with Barb & I found a new love.....PUDDING SHOTS!!! OMGosh are they YUMMY! Now I'm homesick & wanna go back already :( Here are Barb, Dad & I at the grave.....it's hard to believe that it's been 6 years since they left us!
The hardest part of going home was visiting my Mom's grave for the first time since she passed away :*( When she first went into the nursing home, I made a promise to myself that whenever I went home, she would be the first person I would visit & the last person I would see before I left. So now, I'm continuing that promise to her.....as soon as we arrived in Williamsport, the first thing we did was go to her grave & on the morning we left, her grave was the last place we went. When we first got there, I wasn't sure how it was going to affect me.....the first thing I did was put some new flowers on her grave, then I cleaned off the headstone & just stood there......that's when I lost it! I asked Shawn to give me some time alone with her so I could talk to her. I cried, I talked, I cried, I talked.....and right now, I'm crying as I'm typing this :( Damn, I miss my Mom!!! While we were in PA, I found this solar lighted cross & decided to buy it for her grave. I then bought some stickers to dress it up a little. I didn't get a chance to put it on her grave until the morning we left, so I didn't get to see it lit up yet. But I hope it's beautiful, just like my Mom!

Okay, enough with the downer post.....that isn't what I wanted this post to turn into! So before it gets worse, I'm going to stop here. If you're still with me, out there in blogger land, thank-you!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers of all my blog readers & to my very own 3 special fathers in my life.....my Dad (pictured above with me), who has celebrated 57 Father's Days now as a great father & friend; my husband Jim, who is so supportive, loving, caring & has been a wonderful husband & father for over 20 years; and to my son Shawn, who continues to grow each day & gave me the most adorable little granddaughter in the world 6 years ago.

A father is a forever blessing!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Where Does Time Go???

I didn't realize that it's been over a month since I blogged last.....BAD Benita! And to top it all off, I'm getting old! Proof in point....my first born son just turned 24 on June 2nd! What's up with that??? Wait a minute.....wasn't it just yesterday that I was holding his cute little body with his blond hair & blue eyes in my arms? And now....he's taller than me!!!
Jim & I took him out to dinner & then shopping on his birthday.....I never know what to buy him anymore cause his tastes are always changing, so taking him shopping works out better. He's thinking about moving back down to Florida & although I'll miss him like crazy, I know that he's happier down there & that's all I ever wanted for my kids.....for them to be happy! If they're happy, then I know they're enjoying life & I did something right.

Nothing much else to report.....my life has been pretty boring, which is why I don't blog that much anymore. But hopefully, that'll change soon.....details to follow.

Until then, I hope you'll bear with me & continue reading my blog....I miss my fellow bloggers! Let me know if you're still out there, reading or just lurking :)


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Miracles DO Happen!

I called Barb today to see how everything was going & got some GREAT news....she is CANCER FREE!!! Thank-you God! This is exactly the miracle we all needed! Now she goes in on June 9th to start her reconstructive surgery, so I know that's going to be a long process. But it will hopefully be the ending to her battle! She has been so strong & brave through all of this & has truly been an inspiration to me. I'm so glad she's my sister!

In other news, I'll be starting my new job tomorrow as a merchandiser for a greeting card company :) They actually hired me over a week ago, but I had to wait for them to process all the paperwork before I could start. It's going to be a very limited part-time position, but I'm okay with that.....I just wanted something to get out of the house a couple of days a week anyway.....and the little bit of extra money won't hurt, either :)

Today, the 25th of April, marks my 2 year 'anniversary' since I started my weight loss journey.....it was 2 years ago today that Jim & I joined the gym. To date, I've lost around 60 pounds & numerous inches. And although most of that weight loss was within the first year & I haven't lost much since then, I have been maintaining my weight, so I'm very proud of that! I've had quite a few struggles along the way that have also prevented me from working out over periods of time, but hopefully, I've overcome them all now & I'm getting back on track. Speaking of which, I'm off to hit the gym now :)


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from my family to yours. I hope your Easter is filled with blessings & lots of joy.
My hubby picked up this beautiful Easter Lily for me the other day. I mentioned to him how we always used to get one for my Mom every year for Easter & he decided to continue the tradition for me. I only wish I was in Pennsylvania to put one on her grave :(
We have been having some AWESOME weather the past several days, temps in the 70's & even in the 80's which has caused some of my flowers to start blooming already. Here are my first flowers of Spring 2010.
And here is one of my Lilacs with buds on it already. Yep, I've been lovin' this weather! Sad part is, I'm afraid it won't continue.....afterall, this IS Michigan! And we've gotten that S word in April & even in May before! Hopefully that won't be the case this year, though.

Our Easter plans are pretty simple.....Church in the morning & then home to a relaxing day of laundry & cooking a ham. Sadly, I won't be seeing my granddaughter or even my son this Easter :( I'm pretty disappointed about that as this will be our first Easter that I haven't spent with either of them, not to mention my first Easter since my Mom passed away. But I'm going to do my best to enjoy the day as much as possible.....and try not to eat too much candy!

Happy Easter,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fortune Cookie

Remember that bowling tournament that I talked about in my last post? After I bowled my highest series ever that Saturday (697), Jim gave me a fortune cookie with this fortune in it. Well.....this is the pay off:
$468.00 BABY!!!
$28.00 was for our team finishing in 6th place, $40.00 was for me finishing in 2nd place for all events with handicap & $400.00 was for 1st place singles handicap :) I just got the check last night & I just keep staring at it, lol. It's gonna be hard to take it to the bank.....but not that hard! I also found out that in June, I will be invited to an award ceremony thing where I will receive a USBC jacket with my 1st place embroidered on it. Heck, now I want the jacket more than the money!
A few weeks ago, Jim & I went to Gibraltor Trade Center & I had these decals made for my car.....one for Karen & Jimmy &......
....this one for my Mom......God, I miss her! I'd be lying if I said I was fine, but truth is, I haven't been :( I've just been trying my hardest to hide my pain.....from the internet, my sisters, my husband, my kids.....even myself! I haven't been doing any scrapbooking since my Mom passed away (other than her memorial board & the window that I altered). I just can't motivate myself for some reason. I wish I could! I know that they say 'time heals all wounds', but I guess I just need more time.
In other news, Jim ended up getting another new vehicle. Remember that Journey that we just bought a year ago? Well, we were having nothing but problems with it.....occassionally when you tried to unlock it, the panic alarm would go off instead & keep going off until you unlocked the door with the key & started the engine! The last time it happened, it was 6'oclock in the morning & I don't think our neighbors liked that too much! They also had to replace a cylinder in the engine that wasn't turning right, basically having to tear almost the whole engine apart to do it. Then we were having some issues with the ABS sensor & a wheel bearing went out. So needless to say, it was time to trade it in! Luckily, our sales person gave us an awesome deal on a 2010 Dodge Nitro & they also completely paid the Journey off. Can't beat that!
And I just love the chrome package that came with it. Jim said he could have lived without it, but I think it makes it look sharp.
See.....it even has a chrome gas cap.
And although the interior doesn't have all the little hidden storage compartments that the Journey had, the seats seem to be more comfortable & I love the way it rides....may not be as smooth as the Journey since it's 4 wheel drive, but I actually missed having that 'truck-like' feel.
Just another touch of chrome.

That's all for now.....I promise it won't be another month until I update my blog again.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bowling Tournament

Before I start my post about the tournament, I wanted to post a prayer request for my Dad. He went into the hospital yesterday morning as the doctor told him he has a clogged artery in his leg. They were able to clear out the clog yesterday, but then the doctor said that when he was doing it, he found something in his stomach area, so they were going to check that out today. If you pray, could you please send up a prayer for him? As soon as I get some news, I'll update this post. I'm just so scared right now :(

UPDATE: They found an aneurysm in my Dad's stomach & are going to be doing surgery in about 2 weeks. He's going home today, but will continue to need lots & lots of prayers!
(the Black Team)
This past weekend (February 20th & 21st), I bowled in the Women's City Tournament & had SO much fun! I went in with a 179 book average (from last years league) & I'm very proud to say that I bowled over my average all 9 games! On Saturday, we bowled doubles & singles & usually I'm tired after 3 games, so I thought for sure I'd struggle doing 6 in one day. First was doubles.....my games were 182, 195 & 184 for a 561 series. Then we moved over one pair of lanes, didn't get to practice & I ended up shooting my highest series ever :) My games were 258, 257 & 182 for a 697 series! Yep, I knew I had a good shot at a 700 series & got extremely nervous, once again. But I am VERY happy with the way I bowled. I did end up winning $76.00 for my 697 series in the handicap jackpots......woohoo! Afterwards, we all went out to dinner & when I finally got home, I just relaxed on the couch & tried to watch the Olympics, but ended up falling asleep. I was pooped!

(Black & Red Teams)
Sunday was the team event & my fingers were killing me.....I could barely get them in either of my bowling balls! I started out having trouble trying to figure out the lanes, kept switching back & forth between the Zone & the Wild Ride & ended up with a 181 my 1st game & a 186 for the 2nd game. I finally called Jim after the second game & asked him what I should do. He told me that I either wasn't coming around the ball or I needed to move. Well, I don't even remember doing either of the things he suggested,lol, but I guess just talking to him helped because I ended up bowling a 248 my 3rd game for a 615 series :) I won another $24 in jackpots for my last game & then we all went out to dinner again. All in all, it was a great weekend....good times, good friends, good bowling, good food.....what more can you ask for? Oh.....cashing.....that's what else, lol. They haven't updated the standings yet & the tournament still has a few more weeks until it's over, but hopefully, I should cash in it.....keep your fingers crossed for me!

TOURNAMENT UPDATE: I just found out that I'm in 1st place for 2 things.....singles, division 1, handicap & all events handicap, division 1! Plus I'm in 8th for singles actual scratch & our team is in 5th place for handicap in our division! Now if I can just hold onto those spots for 2 more weeks!

That's all for now.....thanks in advance for the prayers for my Dad! I truly appreciate them!


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today, February 4th, this wonderful man in my life, my Dad, turned 82 years young! I called him tonight to wish him a Happy Birthday & he said "gee thanks.....I don't wanna get older!" LOL Then he said he was only 28 instead of 82. Gotta love him & his sense of humor :)
These pictures were taken last August when I went home. He's being silly in this one.....and as you can see, we're both HUGE Kasey Kahne fans :)

Love ya Dad.....hope you have a wonderful birthday & many, many more to come!


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Altering Again

I've been having so much fun, going around the house, finding things to alter. This window is a project I've been wanting to do ever since it was given to me about a year & a half ago, but just never knew what I wanted to do with it.....that is, until now. I found a very old vinyl quote that I had purchased years ago & it worked perfectly.....using one word in each window pane.

I decided to make mini scrapbook layouts using family pictures. The first one is of my Mom, her parents & her house. I did it in black & cream colors papers using lots of Primas, bling, quotes & ribbons, all things that have been in my stash for months.....heck, years!

The top middle pane is of Shawn & his daughter then the one next to that is of Karen & Jimmy. You can see the glitter Welcome sign I have hanging on the edge of the window frame.

Then I used some old family photos, the first one was the 5 of us girls with our Dad on a bridge in Niagara Falls. I think I was 2 or 3 years old in that picture. Then a more grown-up picture, again of the 5 of us with our Dad. The pane in this part of the window is cracked, but I think it just makes it look even more loved.

The bottom middle one is of Jim & I & the last one is of my Mom & I.....I LOVE this picture of her & I together. It was taken Thanksgiving of 2004, 3 months after Karen & Jimmy were killed. I actually had to tickle my Mom to get her to smile for the picture.

The very bottom of the window is unpainted & I'm not sure what I want to do to it yet.....just let it go, paint it, add some embellishments to it.....hmmm. I have the window hanging in my scrapbook room in between the 2 windows & above one of my Expedit bookcases so I can look at it everyday. I'm so pleased with the way it turned out. Thanks so much for all the compliments on my flower jars & drawers....I've been really using my Primas a whole lot more since separating them that way.

I've also altered a lot of my B's that I have in my scraproom......I'll post pictures of them in my next blog post. Until then, thanks for stopping by.


Friday, January 08, 2010

I Did It!

A few months ago, after months & months of debating, I finally did it.....I sorted all my Primas by color & got rid of all those milk bottles! Yes, it was extremely hard to do, but I'm so glad I did it! (You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.)
I love the look of all the different types of glass jars. I purchased a lot of them at thrift stores, but also got some at Hobby Lobby, JoAnns & Michaels either on sale or using coupons.
I just love how much less cluttered my shelves look now, which means less to dust now, too :) I used a damask rubber stamp & black paint on my canvas boxes to dress them up a little as well (one of them is on the very top shelf & a little hard to see).
Over on the other wall are my ribbon & button jars. I picked up those penny jars, as they call them, at Target about 2-3 years ago, but I believe they still carry them.
Up on the very top shelf, I put some antiques, some of which belonged to my Mom. The wooden box has all of her school memorabilia in it & see those baby shoes.....they were my Moms! You may not be able to tell, but one of the shoes has a hole in it.....she said that he mom made her wear them until they literally fell apart! Now I just need to find the perfect baby picture of my Mom to put in the frame.
On the other side is an old milk bottle (also my Moms....we used to have a dairy not too far from our house that we always got our milk from.....boy, do I miss that milk!), an old scrapbook album along with an old camera & a Melissa Francis Bingo Card album. In the wicker basket I store my Making Memories rub-ons.
Another project that I just did this week was to 'alter' my Iris cart drawers so now you can no longer see all the 'stuff' in the drawers. All of the drawers are labeled (with the exception of a few that I need to relabel), so I know what's in them. I've been wanting to do this for a very long time, but just never got the time to do it.
The pattern papers are from The Paper Studio line sold at Hobby Lobby.....I've had them in my stash for a long time, but never wanted to use them, until now. I didn't want to use all the same papers on all the drawers, so I alternated between 2 different patterns. Since my room is mostly done in a black & white/cream damask design, I thought these papers were perfect!
I used my Xyron 900 to adhere the paper in the drawers.....I just ran it through upside down to put the adhesive on the front side of the paper. They're attached inside the drawers so they don't get messed up. I love the way they turned out & now I only wonder why it took me so long to do it!

Now.....what can I alter next? :) Hmmm (looking around my room, lol).

Have a great weekend,