How about a list today?
- We finally closed on our mortgage from the addition yesterday. I found it pretty cool that the attorney the bank chose for us has 3 biological boys and 1 girl which they adopted. He was very supportive of our decision and gave us some great advice.
- Speaking of, we had our initial fire inspection this morning. Everything looked fine. The fire marshal has to come out and inspect everything himself. He does it once a month in our county and will be out the last week of August. She mentioned that they’ve lost 2 workers and are running behind on home studies. Normally they do the home study just as soon as the fire inspection is over but it could be longer. She’s still hoping by October/November we’ll be approved.
- School starts 1 week from today. We are READY. Emma is on countdown. And honestly, I am ready. I’ve enjoyed having the kids around but it’s been a stressful summer with my new schedule.
- Speaking of going back to school, our luau is ON. We’re doing some shopping tonight and will be preparing decorations and food the next two nights. It’s actually been a lot of fun being creative with the girls. Also, testing out a snow cone machine is not a bad job to have.
- I finished the first draft of this. 20,000 words came out faster than I imagined they would. Would you pray I know what to do with them and more than that, have the courage?
- This is very silly news but I finally earned my gold card at Starbucks. I have a gold Starbucks card (duh) with my name on it. I can’t help it, it feels cool.
- Scott bought me a Kindle for our anniversary and I’ve been spending time figuring it all out. If anyone has good resources for children’s books, I’d appreciate it. Also, does anyone have experience with lending books? Basically I need all your favorite tips and tricks. Please and thank you.
Hope your week is going well!
I normally am quite underwhelmed when a book gets made into a movie. It’s not that the adaptation is bad, it’s just you simply can not capture the full spectrum of a character or storyline in such a short time. Well I just have to say that I was more than happy with The Help. Honestly, there were some characters that came alive more on screen and scenes that were funnier. I have never been so bipolar watching a movie. One second I was crying and the next I was laughing while wiping my tears.
The casting was spot-on. Aibileen was just exactly like I imagined. Minny had us rolling in nearly every scene she was in. Mae Mobley was just the sweetest little thing. I think we got to see more of her in the movie and she was just a delight and broke your heart all at the same time. Hilly was just perfectly proper and nasty all at the same time. Her facial features were simply perfection. Stewart was a handsome jerk. Skeeter’s mom was much more likable in the movie but still weak and ridiculous at moments. Other characters I didn’t think much about in the book included the newspaper editor in chief. He got just as many laughs from Minny. Constantine surprisingly made two appearances and delivered two of the most moving scenes. Hilly’s mother was insanely funny and delivered the sharpest line of the entire movie. I never gush about so many characters on screen but truly, the love you felt for them in the book was not lost on screen.
They were fantastic at delivering every important plot point and scene. The Terrible Awful was simply outstanding and I laughed harder about it than I did in the book. Even Scott was rolling. In fact, I found Scott laughing at quite a few scenes. The only scene that was not covered, and frankly, I was grateful was the man that visited Celia and Minny one day at the house that they had to attack. I’d rather not see that on film, thankyouverymuch.
I think for me one of the most moving scenes of the whole movie was seeing Skeeter walk into Aibileen’s house with it full of women willing to help her write the book. So much courage and fortitude in those women.
I asked in my giveaway who your favorite character was but never told mine. I love Aibileen. I love her quiet strength. Her courage. Her willingness to bare herself as she writes. Espcially at this season of my life, I can so relate to her fear of writing but courage to do so. Ever since reading the book I’ve started writing out my prayers. It’s been such a freeing, peaceful practice. I can honestly say in a little way she changed my life.
You just HAVE to see this movie. If you haven’t read the book, I’d highly recommend you read it first. You’ll really fall in love with the story and then be able to enjoy a fabulous rendition of it on screen.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway, it’s open until tomorrow!
I don’t have too much to say today except that I’m drowning in these lyrics today:
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
-How He loves, John Mark Mcmillan
The winner is Claire! Congrats, Claire!
I haven’t yet done a full review on The Help but it is by far my favorite novel of the year. The storyline was unique, the characters and setting were rich, the dialogue brilliant. I am a little more than ecstatic that we are going to a screening of the movie next Monday. It’s actually our 13th wedding anniversary and I signed us RIGHT UP for the tickets when I got the email because I just know it’s going to be a fantastic way to spend the evening.
Today I have an awesome opportunity to give Y”ALL some good stuff! Here’s what’s included:
- THE HELP t-shirt in adult female sizes of S, M, L, XL
- THE HELP pocket jotter & pen
- THE HELP fan
- THE HELP nail file/mirror
If you’d like to win this, just leave a comment telling me your favorite character of the book. Or if you haven’t seen it, your favorite Southern dish. I’ll be closing the giveaway next Wednesday. If you haven’t seen a trailer yet, check it out below.
I’m just going to be honest. Today is one of those days I wish I were in the office. The dog woke me up after climbing over a fence he wasn’t supposed to climb over. I had to feed 3 little girls breakfast quickly before logging in. Things weren’t going well for work. I had 5 hours worth of conference calls. I was making glasses of chocolate milk and ice water hourly while watching the already towering stack of dishes grow. I supervised play doh, Barbie time, face paint, dress up and swim time all while doing this. Did I mention I didn’t get dressed for the day until lunch time? It’s just one of those horrendously busy work-at-home days that I just happened to also be a day I didn’t have a sitter and I can’t help but look forward to tomorrow’s day at the office.
We know the truth of the matter is I’d rather have an awful day at home than have to go in the office but whew. These days can knock a girl out.
So the girls have been begging to do a “game day” at the house with their friends. It’s like a fair but with all games they make up and direct. I somehow skirted around this by agreeing to do a themed back to school pool party in two weeks. And since Back to School isn’t such a fun theme to decorate around your pool, we decided to stick a Luau theme on it. Yes, the invites read “Back to School Hawaiian Pool Party”. We Bennett girls are nothing if not wordy. So, Pinterest to the rescue! I’ve pinned some great party ideas and here are my Top 10!
1. OF COURSE you have to have leis. But how about making them as the party craft first thing?
2. And I know this is wedding material and all but wouldn’t a bunch of little girls be adorable with flowers in their hair?
3. I’m sure the grownups would appreciate some Hawaiian pizza
4. Not to mention some Aloha Cake!
5. Or Aloha smoothies?
OK, let me get back on track. This is a KIDS party not an adult party
6. The girls simply can not wait to have this jello watermelon
7. Or the Blue Hawaiian Ice
8. OR the carved Shark watermelon
9. Oh and we should probably have some decorations. I think this wreath is super cute.
10. And finally yes, I’ve relented to some games. And how about a cool sign to point the kids in the right direction?
If I can pull all this together, the kids will be talking about this for years. I can not wait!
This post is linked up to ohAmanda’s Top Ten Tuesday.
Trying something new, a nod to OTH actress Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley).
£15 - houseoffraser.co.uk
$4.99 - ikea.com
$162 - maxandchloe.com
My answer may surprise you given that I asked the question of Twitter and Facebook and am now blogging my answer. My love for the Internet knows no strangers.
Here are the rules we formulated:
-No taxes are taken out.
-You would not or could not connect to the Internet again. As in, the stakes would be too high for you to do it (like an awful death) or you would be rendered incapable by some technology that does not currently exist.
-You would be able to continue your work-related Internet-required tasks. As in, I search Google often for programming -tips. I would be able to do that but could not, say, take a break at work and check my bank account.
My short answer: yes, I would do it. Send me the check, I’m out.
For sure, it would be HARD.
But my first reaction is come we were doing this less than 15 years ago! I fully remember the days of calling to get directions, checking the weather on the guide channel, looking in the phone book for a number, mailing checks for your bills, talking on the phone to friends and family to get updates.
But I do have to admit, times have changed and some things simply do not work the same. I have DirecTV now and do not have local weather on my TV. Many people do not have local numbers in the phone book since we have gone to cell phones exclusively. Companies we work with are not local at all. It’s not as easy to contact them or check your account. For sure, the playing field is different.
People have cited required services as a reason to say no, but even socially, some say we can’t live without it. With family and friends sprawled out over the globe, many keep up with them online. People stay in touch with breaking news online now. CNN, Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook and the like all keep us informed of what is happening.
But I would submit all these are niceties. There is nothing that I do that is not work-related that there is not some phone or paper alternative still. I can still write checks, call for phone numbers, listen to a weather radio, read the newspaper or watch the TV for news, write in a journal, send letters, call my bank for account information, call my family. Sixty years from now in 2071, though, who knows, that might not be the case. Will there even be checks or printed phone books and newspapers down the line? I’m going to guess no, in 60 years, things will be very different.
I am 33, if I live another 60 years then giving up the million dollars for the Internet is like saying I will pay $1300 every single month for every one of those 60 years to be able to go online. I just don’t think I’m willing to do that. If my cable service tried to charge me $1300 this month for the Internet I would say you can kiss my account goodbye!! I am perfectly content with using a phone book, making a call, writing checks, writing in my journal, calling my friends to check up. The question remains will our world continue in such a way that it is possible to live without the Internet? I think that’s the real question here.
So my answer is yes, with the world as-is, I take the money.
Now that I have my million dollars though, what do I do?
I would finally quit work and live off the million dollars in some way. And although one million dollars really isn’t enough for a family to live on for the rest of your lives, it is enough for us to supplement Scott’s income and keep us floating just fine. And I’m guessing I would be spending A LOT of time on the phone getting things done. Have you called an 800 number recently? Aye carumba!
My second option of what I would do is continue to work and use the money missionally. However, I just don’t see me giving up the chance to stay home with my girls.
Perhaps if I went the route of quitting, I would return to work at some point and use the additional money left missionally.
In closing though, giving it up would be HARD. The simple fact is life is changing and most of us are very reliant on the Internet. Beyond the social aspect, we do so many required tasks online. I’m very appreciative that I don’t have to pay for so many checks or sit on 800 number calls constantly or pay to print hundreds of pictures to share with family or handwrite these blog posts or make dozens of long phone calls every day! Yes, the Internet can be a time-waster but I think it is such a time(and money)-saver too. So while I would probably take the million dollars, I still think the Internet has value and I’m not quitting on my own volition anytime soon!
Still. Be still and know that I am God. I can not help but think of that verse. How many times has that proven to be true? Only when I have submitted to the stillness have I heard the voice of God, known that He IS God. I lie face down on the soft carpet of my closet, temporarily my prayer closet, tears wetting the threads. How I yearn to know Him, know what He wants and desires. I have tried in my busyness to know Him. Lord, help me be patient. Lord, shut my mouth. Show me your compassion. Lord, what do I do. When do I go, when do I stop? My soul searches for his words, any word to know him. But it is not until I lay low in the carpet and be still that I hear him. Child, I am here. You can hear me now in your stillness. Be still and know that I am God.
One would think the default is to be still and it would take effort to actually do something. But it is in our nature to go, to move, to speak, to run, to do. Always going and never still. In an ironic twist, it takes effort to be still. Our way to know him is a conscious choice. And he wants us to choose him so badly. Stop and listen. Be still and know.
linked Gypsy Mama and her Five Minute Friday, hosted at (in)courage
Author’s note: I feel the need to add that God does speak at all times, not just in my stillness. I don’t mean to say you have to lock yourself in a closet to hear from him. But the times I do make myself still that way, I always know he is God and those were the times I was remembering while writing.
We’ve realized Tucker puffy hearts water. And it’s ironic since our dog Mattie puffy hates water. Today we caught him on the “high dive” going to get his toy.
I keep telling Scott we need to train him for those long distance jump contests dogs do, right?
Dani was just blogging yesterday about her three daughters’ sense of style. It’s been amazing to me to see my own girls’ style evolve as they have gotten old enough to pick their clothes. For a very long time, Emma could care less about what she wore. I put on a matching outfit and she didn’t think twice what was going over her head before school. In the past year or so she has definitely started paying attention.
Emma is feminine all the way. One of her favorite outfits this summer is a tan animal print tank with gold glitter and a cream lace vest. She loves her ruffled gold sandals. Many of her things are light colors with flowers or a butterfly. All very girly and stylish. She likes delicate things that fit her small frame well. If I would let her she would wear a simple tank and a short flair skirt all the time. She also has a casual side to her and is very happy in t-shirts, jean shorts and converse tennis shoes. This past winter she loved her skinny jeans and riding boots, as pictured above.
Lexi is feminine as well but with an edge. She likes bold, bright colors. She doesn’t shy away from black or animal prints. If something has sequins or glitter, she’s all for it. She is a huge accessory girl. Just today she was playing and had a black sequined hat, bright purple glitter scarf on with a hot pink, green and yellow printed tank. The girl loves prints and color! She’s been known to walk around in earrings and necklaces several sizes too big. She likes to say she’s very “fashiony”. But she also has a casual side to her and is happy in a simple shirt, cargo shorts and crocs.
It will be interesting in the next few weeks as we begin school shopping to see what they go for as they head into new grades. With a summer nearly past us now they haven’t had their friends nearby to influence their style. Just a few days ago Emma said she wanted converse high tops which seemed to come out of nowhere; they certainly did not get a love of high top converse shoes from me! I can’t wait to see how their style evolves as they get into adolescence and teenage years, but then again, I think my wallet is screaming that it can wait!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and jcpenney blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
MamaKatsLosinIt had a great post today about her top 10 life stories. You know, the stories that haunt you no matter how old you get and get told over and over. I figured it was as good a time as any to share a few of mine.
- When I was a toddler one Easter morning, I became inconsolable which was very atypical. My parents took me to the hospital only to find out I had a straight pin stuck in my uterus wall. I had emergency surgery and still have a scar about 4” long on my abdomen. I have to tell that one every single time I see a new doctor.
- I ran into a screen door at my great-grandmother’s house and produced the scar on my chin.
- I decided since I loved tuna so much that I would certainly love tuna cat food. I did not like tuna cat food.
- And speaking of cans of food, one time I was trying to open one and when I grabbed the lid to pull it back the rest of the way, it sliced right through my finger. Blood went everywhere and I probably should have had stitches but if I remember right, my dad was in between health coverage.
- Heather and I got in a fight and I pinched her so hard that she still has a few crescent shaped scars on one of her hands.
- I was in the kitchen cutting something and complaining vehemently about the knife not working right. I was using the wrong side. Those triangle tipped ones are confusing!
- I woke up and got ready for school but no one else was up. I went upstairs and told my parents with force that they needed to get up and Heather needed to get up, we were all late!! My mom looks at the clock only to find out I had gotten up and got ready at 3am.
- My friends and I were in the Wal-mart check out line and I mentioned the “Eskimopie” (es-keh-moh-pee) candy bar. Little did I realize it read "Eskimo Pie”.
I didn’t make it to 10 but I’m very sure my family and friends could recall some other ones.
Well, Tucker is starting to blend quite well into our family. He’s ALL PUPPY that’s for sure. We are doing our fair share of “TUCKER, NO!” “DOWN, TUCKER!” “GO POTTY, TUCKER!” “GIVE THAT BACK, TUCKER”! “NOT IN THERE, TUCKER!” Well, you get the idea. But overall, he’s a super sweet puppy and I think he’s going to be a perfect addition to our family. Just AFTER he quits trying to eat my flip flops.
Here is a cute video of him chasing the laser from Scott’s taser.
Golly, the past 24 hours were so good. So. good.
I keep typing and backing up and typing something else. Where do you start? How do you put into words 6 pages of notes and a very full heart? First I will tell you this. And it is what I walked away with. That story? I’m gonna write it. No lie Beth said the words “We always want our past to be our past. To pretend like it never happened. But we must use our past as our testimony. We have to offer hope.” There are many more things she said that completely confirmed my thoughts scripturally and enlightened more. Above all, I walked away with the affirmation just once again just how much affection He has for me. He is not tolerating me, he DELIGHTS in me.
There is no way to fully explain all of what she talked about but I will hit the highlights. Our two words for the weekend were HOLD FAST. Hold fast and cleave to God. She gave us eight reasons we needed to hold fast as an acrostic:
H: His affection is set upon you. She went into the many ways he loves us. But be assured he is loyal, faithful, emotional, passionate, devoted to you.
O: Only He is your praise. The good of the universe loves YOU and wants good for you. Praise him.
L: Loving Him Awakens Your True Heart. We do not know ourselves until we cling to him. He is what makes life work.
D: Doing His will Does Us Good. He cannot lead us wrong. God uses everything that happens to you for your destiny.
F: Fleeing to Him means Fleeing From Him. He is always with us.
A: Any Tighter Embrace Will Also Replace. Oh boy, do I know this one well. We are supposed to love but when we cling to something else harder, it becomes a stronghold.
S: Satan Wants What You Have. He wants your marriage, children, church but most of all your faith.
T: The Lord is Your Life Col 3:1-4 Choose life.
So good. I wish every one of you could hear every word. But I’ll just say this. Hold fast to Him. He is the answer. Your life should not be a train wreck. If it is, fall into Him. Hold on for dear life. When you are walking with Him, things work. It may not be easy but there is peace. Whew, I could go on!
I do want to tell you about the lovely people I went with and got to meet.
Susan, Dani, Michele, me and Heather. I was so happy Heather. At the last second, she was able to snag one of their Siesta Scholarship tickets. If you need one of those, it was so painless and such a blessing.
I also got to meet up with my good friend Becky
..and Beth who sadly I didn’t get a picture with.
And I’m especially happy to have finally met Boomama. I have been a long-time reader of Sophie’s blog and let me just tell you she is a DELIGHT. I’m not sure there is another way to describe her. And she is the same in person. She’s down to earth, and funny and Southern to every bit of her core. I just love her.
OK, so I must quickly tell you about a surprise last night that happened after we got back from LPL. Yesterday afternoon I talked to Emma. I told her I was excited to see her in one day! I talked to Scott last night just after we got out and he said the girls were asleep so I didn’t get to say good night. When I got home, I went almost straight to sleep as my alarm was going off at 5:45am. Scott called right at 11 and said, “I hate to do this but Corporal has to come get my radio to use it tonight can you go get it out of the closet and put it on the bench out front.” So I did and when I walked out the front door, I saw car lights on and thought Corporal was already there. I started squinting really hard when I saw a shadow of a child and saw that it was Emma! “You’re kidding me”! I said when I realized it WAS Emma and Scott was also walking through the yard. Scott had completely surprised me and travelled back that evening. I can’t tell you how happy I was!
So between the conference and having my babies back last night you can imagine I’ve been on cloud 9 today! Hope your weekend is going well!
The DHEC inspection this morning was painless. The inspector was SO nice and flexible. Less than 15 minutes but a few things we have to do.
- Outlet covers on all the outlets. Half of ours have disappeared over the years and the new addition never got any.
- Cleaning supplies have to go on the 2nd of 3 shelves in the pantry instead of 1st.
- Cabinet door locks are needed in the bathroom where the medicine is. At one time they were there and honest to goodness thought they still were.
- Daily medicine had to be moved from my yellow cabinet in the kitchen to the 2nd shelf in one of the kitchen cabinets.
All painless and cheap. Yay! The DSS rep that is coming for the fire pre-inspection on August 3rd will check all these things.
I talked to Lexi today and like everyday, she says she misses me. This morning I said, “I get to see you in one day!” She gets panicky and says, “But I don’t want to leave the beach!!” I guess she’s doing quite fine.
“Just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. For five minutes flat.”
There’s a story I want to tell. My story. From six long years ago. But it’s a story of failure and shame and deceit and lies and a broken marriage. And it’s hard to talk about. But I know I need to share my story and I feel the fear shutting me down every time. But God has bigger plans. I know it, I feel it. He won’t let me go. He never lets me go. He has this plan and he’s going to do what he always does. Makes beautiful things out of us. He takes the worst of us and makes it the best of us. Even kicking and screaming and wanting to forget it all. He never lets us forget how he saved us from ourselves. How without him we’d screw it all up over and over. And it reminds us to stay close. Stay away. Stay submitted. Surrendered. Redemption of our sin does more for us than perfection ever will. So how can I say no? How can refuse the Maker when he’s wanting to make something? I am only a vessel, a piece of clay to be molded. I must remember this. And write.
Emma’s 9 month old toes, freshly painted, ensconced by my own, as I hold her, help her be.
Emma’s toes 8 years later on the same brown carpet in the same gray beach house looking all grown up, too much like her mother’s but without her.
I may not be holding her, but I’m there. She’s inescapably mine. And I miss her.
It’s been a different week, that’s for sure. It’s been quiet around here. And I don’t just mean my blog.
This week is the annual beach trip for Scott’s family. One of the downsides to being a full-time employee is I can’t just take off whenever I want. I have a set number of vacation days and I have to plan out when I’m taking them. (I KNOW. It’s like a real job and everything!) As a contractor for 10 years, I was used to just saying I’m not going to be here this day and using extra money set aside to handle the loss of income. All that to say: I didn’t get to go to the beach this week. Emma decided to go ahead with my in-laws Sunday and then very last minute Lexi decided to go with her.
So *I* am having quite the staycation. At times, it’s exactly what I need and at others, I’m downright bored and a little lonely. I’ve stayed busy, busy getting some things done that I never have time to like cleaning the oven and finally moving all my bathroom stuff over to the new bathroom. I am definitely enjoying the freedom to do what I want when I want and also don’t find myself guilty over being gone at work all day. However, cleaning the oven is really not too fun overall. I guess maybe I should have just parked myself in front of the TV or book and refused to move to really get some rest. I will do that some tonight. The thing I’m most excited about is heading out to see Beth Moore last minute tomorrow night since the kids will be gone. I hope to be fully refreshed when they get home this weekend!
Tomorrow is our big Department of Health inspection for the adoption so say a prayer about 10am! God already performed a small miracle by getting Scott to finally agree to put his guns and bullets in two different locked locations. I finally had to half-yell things like “THEY DON’T CARE THAT YOU’RE A POLICE OFFICER! IF A KID WANTS TO USE A GUN HE WON’T CARE IF YOU HAVE A BADGE! IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DO THIS, WE DON’T HAVE TO ADOPT! YOU REALIZE YOU’RE JUST MAKING THIS HARD FOR ME WHEN SHE DOES THE INSPECTION!” Holy cow. Other than that, I think we’re pretty compliant unless they get extremely picky but obviously we could use some prayer Hope you’re having a great week!