To all my blog-stalkers....... Happy New Year!!! I hope 2009 is everything you've dreamt it to be!



The Post-Workout GT-2140

Told you all I was obsessed with my Asics.... but here are my newbies after their first workout with Sean T:

Granted it was an indoor workout so don't be alarmed at the cleanliness of them still - LOL! Tomorrow we're going for a run, so I'll keep you posted (as I'm sure you can't wait)! WHICH, is why I LOVE blogging b/c I can talk about things random to me and not be concerned with who I'm boring :~) Read if you'd like, skip if you'd like - I'll never know :~)

Signing off with love n dedication to all my blog-stalkers,

Proof is in the Pudding (Pictures)

So last night I finished with just how lucky I am as a daughter, sister, mother, aunt, wife. Well, when you get to spend the Holidays and share your love with beautiful souls just as these - who wouldn't consider themselves lucky....

T "attempting" to pose for a pic!
Emily jammin with her new ipod (8 years old and an olympic swimmer in the making)

And here we have lil' Ms. Moll's (5 yrs) posing with her Hannah Montana wig on! What a beauty queen :~)
Andrew (2 yrs) on the floor playing cars - his fav - with Uncle Nathan. Lucky for him his Aunt Julie purchased him a Dale Jr. trailer and car for Christmas. Poor lil' guy was being influenced at home with #48 "stuff" - ha ha! (funny story there, a.k.a. sibling rivalry)

And here we have Uncle Nathan and Olivia (3 yrs) - lil' Miss Cinderella
And so we are missing pics of Anne and Elliot - however; no doubt they are loved just as deeply as those I'm flaunting pics of. (Side note/question - does it drive anyone else nuts when they knowingly end a sentence with a preposition? This is such a NO-No!!! But when it just flows - well, I'm just sorry - please accept my faults!)
Okay, going to exercise and try out the new GT-2140's I raved on in my previous blog - stay tuned!!!!


My 2nd Love

Introducing the new Asics GT-2140's.... ...........

Love, love, LOVE these shoes! For those of you who know me, or have read my blogs, you all know I've been in-love with the Asics GT-2130's FOREVER! LOVE THEM! I went to Pacesetters today (they love me there), and I was in search of a new pair. However, since the 2130's are the previous model... they are no longer getting new colors in; therefore, I now proudly own every pair of 2130's they had to offer - BUMMER!!!!! The lovely salesman recommended I step up to the 2140's - problem is, they made the "toe box" wider in the 2140's which is a problem for narrow footed folks as myself. Anywho, after a lil' heart-to-heart with my 2130's, and their acceptance of me going "2140" on them - I tried on the 2140's in a NARROW size, a.k.a. 2A for those of you in the shoe world, and I'M IN LOVE ALL OVER AGAIN!!!! I currently have my new tennies displayed on my kitchen table - they are anxiously awaiting a walk in the early morning hours of tomorrow :~)

And to top off my 2140 day.... I had another follow up appt today on my ankle, and after 4 1/2 months I have officially been RELEASED! So no better time than today to get my shoes in order.... time to start putting the new-formed ankle to the test.

So perhaps I'm working backwards here... but how sweet are these 2 boys????

Unfortunately Mel had to take Molly to the dr. today, so I was called upon to watch the others. So T and I went over for a visit. I had some WONDERFUL snuggle time with lil' Miss Anne - she is THEE sweetest thing EVER! And while I was tending to Anne, big cousin T took care of lil' Andrew who was in need of some snuggle time as well! I hate that Moll's was under-the-weather, but I love, love, LOVED the time I got to spend with the others.
Snuggle time with my nieces and nephew, new GT-2140's, and a complete release from the doc - I'll call it a day! Thank you Lord - I am sooooooo fortunate!!!!! I know it, and I thank YOU!


My favorite time of year....

Nothing like a good mix of Christmas spirit and basketball season!!! This weekend the boys played in their first tournament. LOVED IT! Major kudos on the uniforms too --- our boys were the best lookin' group of kids on the court. Check out these AWESOME uniforms....

Here's T playing defense (he's the one with his arms in the air).

We played 3 games at the Wabash Valley Sport Center in Terre Haute. We won our first game and lost games 2 & 3. They were close and exciting games for us tho - no major blowouts. So that was a positive note for us.

And here are a couple of our boys shooting around with Coach Vernon. T's to the left, Brock's in the air and a nice view of Derrick's back side. Nice uniforms tho... have I mentioned that?! LOL! Yes, I'm VERY impressed with the uniforms!!!

A shot of the boys warming up. Not sure if you can notice or not, but the uniforms even have a fantabulous lil' Lion/Cub paw print in the "v" of the tops. STELLAR JOB!!!
Okay - so that was most of our Saturday... well from noon thru evening. GREAT JOB BOYS!!!!
I'll switch gears now to how the rest of our weekend unfolded. Starting with Friday... hhmmmm... that was 2 days ago - like I remember?! Oh yea, I was asleep on the sofa by 7 p.m. I know, I'll be signing up for AARP before long - it's okay, I'm okay with it.
Saturday morning was a lot of GIFT WRAPPING!!!!!!!! Thankfully my mom was wrapping as well, so the 2 of us hung out in her basement wrapping gifts ALL morning long! NOT my favorite Christmas task - but I got along just fine and EVERYTHING is wrapped at this point. And yes, I still only have one-half of a decorated tree and no other decorations up - but as long as the stockings get hung and the lil' elves keep coming - I'M GOOD! Oh, that reminds... I still need to get T's Christmas pj's - shy-zits! KRUDOS!!!
Okay - so gift wrapping, basketball... oh and then we had the big Bennett Christmas gathering Saturday night. That was a basement full of food, fun and fellowship. Those Bennett's - if you think the saying "you've seen one, you've seen 'em all" applies - NOT in this family! Not that none of the look alike - but this is one family gene pool that hit the every personality branch on the way down. I overheard someone saying this family is like something out of a movie - AMEN! LOL! GOOD, GREAT, FUN times!! I'm lucky to be a part of it and get to enjoy and celebrate.... so fun!
SUNDAY.... Sunday, Sunday, Sunday - Sunday began sorting piles and piles of laundry - OMG! Last week I cut laundry short, and man-oh-man have I paid for it today. That's all I've done today is ................... LAUNDRY! That should be a 4 letter word, btw! No, we did make it to church which was an AWESOME sermon! Then the boys (T had Brock spent the night) - we went to Terre Haute and watched the Tale of Despereaux (sp?). Cute movie - a little too young for the boys and I tho. Home and managed to do MORE LAUNDRY! And then... well... I've been doing LAUNDRY! You see a pattern here?!
The bonus to this is that I'm off work until January 5th - YEE-HAW!!!! Our plant shuts down - it's always great to have the time off, but with Christmas one week and NYE the next - the time flies by so quickly. I am very grateful tho...... I thoroughly enjoy the extra time with T. We don't get many "mom and T" days anymore - it's nice just to hang out.
So tomorrow I am on a mission to go visit Anne. Jeff n Mel need to get some things done, so T and I are going to go over tomorrow afternoon and hang out with Anne and the rest of the crew while they do some chores. It'll be a tough job, but someone has to do it.
Okay - so I have lots more to carry on about, but this blog seems to be longer than norm and I'm afraid I'll accidentally hit a delete button somewhere and lose my work to this point. So here goes, and I'll be back later with more.... XO!!!!!!!!!!!



Since these cards don't seem to be making their way into the envelopes, thru the post office and to your homes.... HAPPY HOLIDAYS from The Bennett's!!!!!



...... that time of year when you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat candy out of your sock.


MHS Class of 1992

Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!

1. Did you date someone from your school? yip

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? negative - neither time, LOL!

3. Did you car pool to school? are you kidding??? We lived in Bullskin - only the strong and brave survived

4. What kind of car did you have? 1986 Pontiac Sunbird, a.k.a. Antoinette

5. What kind of car do you have now? 2007 (I think) Jeep Rubicon Unlimited (that means 4 door)

6. It's a Friday night then...where are you? country cruising, in the bleachers cheering on the Lions

7. Now...where are you? home or CTB&G or ??? you just really never know these days

8. What kind of job did you have in high school? didn't work during school - oh wait, yes I did - my Senior year I worked at Papers Hallmark (the one in the mall - I think it's Kirlins now)

9. What kind of job do you do now? financial analyst, a.k.a. bean counter

10. Were you a party animal? I defined the words...

11. Were you considered a flirt? nope1

2. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? negative

13. Were you a nerd? i was a jack of all trades

14. Did you ever get suspended or expelled? not that i remember

15. Can you sing the school song? h*ll no! never could!

16. Who was your favorite High School teacher? oh, I had many... Mr. Wieck, Mrs. Butts (Latham now),

17. Where did you sit during lunch? drove around in Antoinette

18. What was your school's full name? Marshall High School

19. When did you graduate?1992

20. What was your school mascot? Lion

21. If you could go back and do it again - what would you do? same darn thing

22. Did you have fun at the Prom? it was okay

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to prom with? when I run into them

24. Do you still talk to people from your school? absolutely

... and my true love gave to me....

NINE, 9, only nine days left until Christmas! Seriously?! Who's wiping the hours off the clock because I'm pretty sure I'm not getting a full 24 hours each day if it's only 9 days until The Big Day!!! Good Golly!

But HO-HO-HO and Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! So many things to be thankful for... first and foremost, lil' Miss Anne! She is scheduled to come home tomorrow, 12/17/08... she'll be one day shy of being 3 months old on the dot! I can't believe it! This last 3 months has flown! We are so excited to get to bring her home for the Holidays. As I previously stated, she'll still be coming home with the monitor and feeding tube, and she won't be leaving the house for several months... but still, for them to all get to wake up together on Christmas morning is a blessing in and of itself. Thank You Lord!!!

As for The Bennett's... well, we've been glee-fully sleighing along :~) We already have our Christmas tree up and already have probably 1/2 of the ornaments on the tree!!!! I know - and only 9 days left 'til Christmas! Needless to say, The Bennett house Christmas decor has not been high on the priority list. It's right underneath shopping, wrapping, staying warm, and the egg nog! And altho my lack of decor may leave you wondering if I've turned into Scrooge - the answer is NO! NO, NO, NO... NOT the case! As a matter of fact, not having the stress of finding time to decorate my house has allowed me to enjoy the season that much more !!!! I'm thinking I might be on to something.....

So Saturday night marked the 12 Nights before Christmas! This is a big event in the Bennett house. Why? Because starting 12 Nights before Christmas the elves start visiting our house. If you've never heard of the elves... well, here goes --- it's sooooooo much fun for kids! A fav memory for my brother and I. So starting 12 Nights before (the night of Dec 13th for you mathematically challenged)... your child(ren) puts 1 shoe under the tree. And each night, the elves come in the middle of the night and leave a lil' something in your child's shoe. The first night it starts small... maybe a pack of gum or a sucker... and each night a different gift is left in the shoe. Your child wakes up every morning and is so excited to see if the elves made it... too, too fun! NOW, the ONE shoe is key because if you leave both shoes - then that's a pair and the elves are likely to run off with them and trade them in for their pointy-toed, jingle-bellin' slippers! (wouldn't you!). So be sure it's only 1 shoe! AND, another fun thing to add is the night of the 23rd the elves always bring a new pair of pj's with something fun and little. Why a new pair of pj's on the 23rd? So that way when you go to bed Christmas Eve and anxiously await the big man in the red suit - you're anxiously snuggled in to your bed in your new jammies... just waiting for the visions of sugar plums!

Oh yes... the memories! I strongly advise anyone who has lil' ones to start this tradition A.S.AP.! Even with Christmas only being 9 days away you could tell your little one you heard Santa's elves were in the area and suggest he/she/they put a shoe under the tree. Then next year you can pick up starting 12 nights before. It's soooooooo fun! I encourage you all! And the lil' gifts don't have to be of any value - they just enjoy the spirit, excitement of the surprise! :~)

And yes, I have had some nights where I'm darting off to Walmart or the gas station at 10 p.m. at night because I didn't plan ahead. But what fun would the Holiday season be if it didn't include midnight runs... after all, I am Santa, right?! If not, I've been had and I suggest you not to advise me otherwise at this point :~) But the joy, the smile, the gleam in their eye.... it's worth every ounce of energy!!!

So there's my Christmas tradition I'm passing on.... what's yours?


So I got a call today as I'm heading back to work from lunch - T was sick, and I needed to come pick him up. UGH! Does your heart not just MELT when you walk in and see your child sitting there looking pale as a ghost... clearly in need of some TLC that only his/her mother can give. So we came home, he's finally napping, and I'm blogging. However, I really don't have a lot to blog about... so I thought I'd pass on a survey for entertainment!

Do you have any friends that you’ve known for 5 years or more? HA - yes, lots!!!

Who was the last person you hugged? T-man

Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? my mom

Have you ever been taken to the emergency room in an ambulance? negative - thank GOODNESS!!!

Do you find the opposite sex confusing? yes, but bottom line is they're too simple

How has this week been? nerve-racking

Did you have a fun Friday night? yes and no - I went to Indy to get monitor and cpr training for when Miss Anne comes home... it was kinda scary at times, but we survived and came home to a house full of boys.. T and his friends - that was fun!

Are you proud of the person you've become? most of the time - wish I wasn't so short-fused sometimes

What were you doing at 1am this morning? sleeping - hellooo???!!

Do you know a secret about your best friend and if pissed off would you tell? I'm obviously too old to be doing this survey, huh?! LOL!

Is there someone that you believe you will always be attached to? abso-friggin-lutely

Been caught doing something you weren't supposed to do? of course

Does everyone deserve a second chance? Yes they do - I might not like it, but they do

Do you have a best friend(s)? many

Do you get mad easily? some days more-so than others

What woke you up this morning? my internal alarm

What makes you not be able to sleep? Santa Claus

Who is the last girl you talked to? my mother

Have you heard a song that reminds you of someone today? Uuummm??? Not recalling... Oh yes - I heard Wasting Away Again In Margaritaville - go Team Vegas!!!

Do you like your name? like my nickname "JT" best

How have you felt today? I'm on the verge of not feeling so well, but I gotta hold off until after girls state tomorro night!!!

Do you want to get married? I am

Do you believe in true love? I do!

Has anyone made a difference in your life? lots!

Name something you are doing tomorrow? going to 7th grade girls state championship game!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are you ticklish? perhaps..

What are you doing tonight? hoping T gets to feeling better... we're resting!

Who was the last person you texted? NB

When were you last sick? can't recall -- sometime in October b/c I remember I couldn't go see Anne :~(

What are you listening to? music in the background of the PS game T's playing

Is your current hair color your natural hair color? with some hi/lo-lights

What time did you get up today? 4:46 a.m.

Do you want kids? I have one and I'm blessed!

What makes you happy? seeing children happy and laughing for all the right reasons and knowing I've touched a part of their lives

Are you happy with how your life is? I am

Are you happy right now? I am... stressing over everyone feeling well enough for the game tomorrow night tho

What was the first thing you did when you woke up this morning? brushed my teeth!

Are you afraid to grow up? getting there..

Do you like to read? love it!

Do you get emotional easily? depends on the day and how much sleep I've had

Can you sleep without blankets covering you? uh negative!!

Where are you right now? home sweet home

Do you wear your seatbelt in the car? I do - thanks to the annoying reminder alarms... I know, it's for the best

Will you talk to someone on the phone tonight? of course - momma has to call

If there was a large spider in the room, would you stay? only if it was dead

Do people ever mistake you for being a different race? only Indian

What time is it?4:52 p.m.

Whats the weather like outside? cooooold

Who are you currently texting? no one

Are your fingernails painted? rarely

Are you taller than 5'6"? close... 5' 5.5"

What was the last thing you ate? a few chocolate chips

Is your hair longer than your shoulders? nope

What will the date be one month from today? January 10th


Tuesday, Dec 9th

A smile is the lighting system of the face and the heating system of the heart.


Hit the brakes.... eeerrrrrhhhhhhhh....

Not real sure if that's how to spell out the sound of brakes locking up, but we've had a change in plans - Anne will NOT be coming home on Monday! She started having more "episodes" yesterday - they believe it may be a reflux thing, but it's too early to tell if the reflux meds are working. So until they can get this straightened out, we'll continue going to visit Anne in Indy.

As for everything else - life is good! We went to Indy this afternoon and had training on the monitor she will be coming home with, and we all had infant CPR training. It could become over-whelming, but I feel pretty confident with it all.

Tomorrow morning we are heading to Assumption, IL - GO LADY CUBS!!!!!!! How exciting is this for them??? I'm super happy for them - EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Beyond that, not a lot else going on. I'm gonna hop off of here and try to finish book 3 of the vampires and werewolves ...... who would've ever thought?! LOL!


6 days and counting....

First and foremost - lil' Miss Anne will be coming home Monday, December 8th!!!!!!! This is fabulous news - YES! The not-so-grand news is that she will be coming home with a feeding tube :~( They did her feeding study yesterday and determined that she is indeed aspirating during her feedings. We're told this is a maturity thing and she will out-grow it. However, she'll be on straight tube feedings for approximately 10 weeks and then they'll do another study to see if she's outgrown it.

Jeff 'n Mel are obviously very nervous and anxious about this. It's great that she's coming home, but it also leaves a lot of responsibility in their hands. Not only do they have to learn how to put her tube in (nothing any of us would want to have to do on our own child), but also they won't have the monitors and nurses for that extra boost of confidence/reassurance. How nerve-wracking!!!

We are so thankful that this is the only issue we are encountering with Anne. Being born at 2 lbs, 3 oz... there are so many hurdles that she's just flown right over. Not all parents/families are that fortunate... we know this! So altho it's nerve-racking to have to bring her home with a feeding tube, hopefully in a short 10 weeks we'll have leaped over this hurdle as well. PLEASE keep Jeff, Mel, Anne and family in your prayers. Lots of strength and patience needs granted to them! This may seem like a small job in the grand scheme of things, but when you've been through all that they have, you get worn down, and when your wore down any hurdle seems like another mission to jump the eiffel tower.

They will conquer this as they do any other.... and some day too soon we'll be watching Anne graduate from pre-school.

One last note - tradition carries on that when a baby comes home, lots of visitors arrive and are anxious to see the new baby (who isn't???)! I KNOW!!! HOWEVER, we have been notified by the hospital that Anne is to be carefully monitored and not be exposed to "bugs". Apparently preemies are susceptible to colds, flus, etc... a lot more-so than a full-term baby - and this will continue until the age of One (I think??). Obviously Jeff and Mel aren't going to keep her in isolation at home until she's a year-old (they'd go nuts-o)! But please be extra patient with them in your visits. I think i'm going to have to handcuff my mother to her couch (LOL!). It's going to be difficult for them to turn people down, but until they get comfortable with Anne just being home.... please just continue to keep them in your prayers.

Dec 1st Daily Splash of Joy: A laugh is just a smile with a soundtrack.



Yesterday I traveled to Indy with my bro and ma to go see Miss Anne - EEEEEEEEEEE! As I'm sure many of you know, this brings nothing but pure joy and thanks to the deepest party of my heart!

Anne and I had some FABULOUS snuggle time - XXXXXXXXXXXX! Anne weighed in at 6 lbs 7 oz yesterday! This is great news. She is doing so well in every area expected, aside from the very last one you would guess - her feedings! Yes, you would think by her weight that she's chugga-luggin right along. But that's not quite the case. Well, I guess she is chuggin'... but during and/or after her feedings is when she is having her "spells" (in bullskin terms this means forgets to breathe when she's eating or even afterwards, aka food coma). So process of elimination begins - the first thought is perhaps she's refluxing. So starting yesterday with her 3:30 p.m. bottle they put rice in it to thicken it. Apparently the thickness of it is less likely to cause her to reflux - IF that's what her issue is.

FINGERS CROSSED - as of this posting, she has not had one episode since her feedings have been thickened/"riced-down". Granted, they are only giving her a bottle at every other feeding - the others she is being fed thru her feeding tube. THIS IS GREAT PROGRESS THO! Fingers are still crossed... the doctor will be in tomorro to re-assess the situation. Maybe it is reflux and this has helped it, maybe we're just on Anne-time, and perhaps there's something else causing it that hopefully we won't have to address. In any event tho, everyone seems confident that this is something she'll out-grow, it's just a maturity thing. So GO TEAM ANNE!

And of course, it's nearly impossible to have an Anne posting without some updated pics (otherwise I tend to get nasty emails from my readers). So here ya go....

I know this is a distant shot, but this is Anne's home. If we were on MTV Cribs - this would be referred to as "Anne's Crib". As you can see - lots of family pics hanging in the background. The dry erase board behind her has her updated weight each and every day. Her siblings have colored some beautiful pics for her which are hanging to the right, but Jeff's in the way.

And lil' Miss Anne herself!!!

Really - they don't get any sweeter - XO!!!

(the tube you're seeing is her feeding tube)

And of course, I can't post a pic of our visit unless I have one of the two of us :~)

Anne and Aunt Julie (has such a lovely ring doesn't it???!!)

Okay, so now I'm going to switch gears (while we all continue to pray for Anne) - going back another day - Friday, aka Black Friday! I ventured to Terre Haute in the morning - but not to be with the crazy shoppers. I headed over to watch Anne's sisters and brother. Let me just tell you that I am one of the very luckiest aunts alive... not only to be so close to a miracle such as Anne, but to be a part of her siblings lives. They are soooooooo much fun! Each of them are unique and loving in their own ways - each of which I love for who they are! As far as entertainment goes - we always thought Molly was "IT"... and then came Andrew! Oh boy - I could sit and listen to Andrew stories all day! The best part of them... I'm his aunt! So I can kick back and laugh at all the HILARIOUS things he's doing! Hee-hee-hee! One of my fav's.... he recently resorted to sleeping naked. Granted, his diaper would be dry every morning.. but the problem is - his diaper was on the other side of his room, and his bed was soaked. So my brother calls me one night, he's headed home from the store, he informs me he's just purchased "duct tape" - RED duct tape at that! I'm like WHAT???!??!! And then it dawns on me... Andrew's diaper! WELL, Andrew is pretty sure he's the karate'iest (I know that's not a word, just go with it) - but the karate'iest lookin' kid on the block! Jeff and Mel were even kind enough to send me a pic of the next Mr. Miagio - take a look....

So as you all finish chuckling at Andrew's "Super Hero belt" - take a break and go hug n squeeze your own kids just one more time! Tell them you love them, take a deep breath and savor every moment they're in your arms... today is a present, make it ever-lasting!!!!!!!!!!


When I become an official Wine-O, I'm moving to Argentina...

Why? Because I've learned they have my all-time FAV food/wine combination!

I think everyone pretty much knows JT is a Mich Ultra gal - yum, yum, YUM! Or maybe it should be gulp, gulp, GULP! But last night Nathan's cousin hosted a wine tasting fiasco to raise $$ for a trip he's taking. It was a very elegant event - you want to talk about a family that knows how to host a get-together - the award goes to the McCrary family! Now, lucky for me... they live in Atlanta, GA... so I don't have to share them with you all :~) I'M KIDDING! But if they lived closer I might hesitate to post this blog for that matter - LOL! Anywho... (I'm drifting again) - so last night cousin Tyler hosted this event at a local family members house (we didn't drive to Atlanta). Everyone sat down to a fancy place-setting and a menu with the run-down of the wine-tastings and foods ahead of us. NOW, I'm going on record to say that I've never been one to do the whole "certain wines compliment certain foods" - but I've been proved wrong yet again! The whole event was over-the-top superb!!! We had food/wine combos from several different countries - and yes, even my dearly-beloved United States of America! However, the combo served from Argentina was BY FAR MY FAVORITE! So when the time comes that I'm ready to give up my Mich Ultra... I'll be sending you all my change of address/country of residence.

A major THANK YOU, KUDOS, A++++++++ award goes out to Mr. Tyler McCrary - that boy knows how to do it! (By the way gals, he's young, handsome and one of thee most well-mannered kids around... so lemme know if you're interested and I'll set up a time to interview you. It's going to be quite the process, because this is fam is hands-down one of the best you're going to meet).

As a matter of fact, this is the same fam that were kind enough to let Judy and I stay at their house before and after our 3-day, 60-mile breast cancer walk in Atlanta. We were wined n dined each night pre- and post-walk... needless to say, I was hesitant to come home - LOL!

I haven't posted a pic in a while - so here's a pic of Judy and I after we completed the 3-day, and then a pic of me 15 minutes after that - LOL!

Okay, headed out to see lil' Miss Anne - can't wait! XOXOXOXO


First Recipe has been submitted.....

Turtle Pumpkin Pie:

¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 Honey Maid Graham Pie Crust
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. Planters pecan pieces, divided
1 cup cold milk
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) Jello Vanilla Instant pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed, divided

Pour ¼ cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with ½ cup pecans.

Beat milk, pudding mixes, pumpkin and spices with whisk until blended. Stir in 1 ½ cups cool whip. Spread into crust.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Top with remaining Cool Whip, caramel topping and pecans just before serving. Makes 10 servings.

from the home of Debbie Gosnell

Thankful Gobbler

So last night I was visiting and having a couple drinks with some local gals/blog-stalkers - LOL! They mentioned turkey trivia.... TURKEY TRIVIA - how festive! So I decided to go turkey trivia hunting myself! Here are some interesting turkey day facts you can enjoy sharing with your family over the holiday:

In 2007, the average American ate 17.5 pounds of turkey. (that's really only 1.5 lbs per month - not bad - poor Tom tho)

In 2007, 271,685,000 turkeys were produced in the United States. (cheese n rice!!!)

The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.

The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog. (I'd like to see that turkey - good heavens!!)

A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.

The female turkey is called a hen.

The male turkey is called a tom.

Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour. (holy sh*t!)

Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour.

Turkeys’ heads change colors when they become excited. (typical male)

Six hundred seventy-five million pounds of turkey are eaten each Thanksgiving in the United States. (that's a lot of friggin turkey)

Turkeys can see movement almost a hundred yards away.

Turkeys lived almost ten million years ago.

Baby turkeys are called poults and are tan and brown.

Turkey eggs are tan with brown specks and are larger than chicken eggs. (turkey eggs.... huh?)

U.S. Today growers produce nearly one turkey for every person in the country.

Forty-five million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving.

Twenty-two million turkeys are eaten each Christmas.

Nineteen million turkeys are eaten each Easter.

Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clicking noise. (HA - they're the noisy ones!!!!! Stuff it!)

Gobbling turkeys can be heard a mile away on a quiet day. (typical male)

Illinois produced 2.8 million turkeys in 2007. (ILL - INI)

A 16 week old turkey is called a fryer. A five to seven month old turkey is called a young roaster and a yearling is a year old. Any turkey 15 months or older is called mature.

Turkeys don’t really have ears like ours, but they have very good hearing.

Turkeys can see in color.

Turkeys do not see well at night.

Turkeys have heart attacks. The United States Air Force was doing test runs and breaking the sound barrier. Nearby turkeys dropped dead with heart attacks. (now THAT is interesting)

Wild turkeys spend the night in trees. They especially like oak trees.

Turkey breeding has caused turkey breasts to grow so large that the turkeys fall over. (another visual)

June is National Turkey Lover’s Month. (hey, that's my brother's birthday month too - think it's a coincidence??? LOL)

Eating turkey does not cause you to feel sleepy after your Thanksgiving dinner. Carbohydrates in your Thanksgiving dinner are the likely cause of your sleepiness. (sure! my turkey day meal is always carb and calorie free)

Turkeys will have 3,500 feathers at maturity.

The costume that "Big Bird" wears on Sesame Street is rumored to be made of turkey feathers.

The fleshy growth under a turkey’s throat is called a wattle. (a what???)

Turkey eggs hatch in 28 days. (must be nice!)

Hope you all enjoyed! And I hope everyone has a SUPER D DUPER TURKEY DAY!!!!!!! Be sure to gobble up and send your favorite recipes my way! I'm going to start posting them.... perhaps we can all get some new, yummy recipes. And this isn't just Turkey day related recipes - I'd like to get some quick n easy recipes out there for everyone to enjoy! It's a crazy time of year, but it's still important we keep our lil' ones well fed! :~)

My love to All on this Glorious Holiday!!!!


I have Bad Crabs....

No, it's NOT what you think! It's thee crabs - as in King of The Ocean and no-name who died. Well now BOTH crabs are dead - ugh! Yes BOTH! Guess my house is just not the place for crabs - I can't seem to keep 'em around. Hhhmmmm - bet my husband will be glad to hear that, huh? LOL!

So last night my dear friends Deb and Michelle hosted a Thirty-One gifts party - which is now being sold by my BFF, Ms. Kelly L. Livvix. You can check out what they have to offer @ thirtyonegifts.com Key-UTE stuff! If you're interested in hosting a party, Kelly can HOOK YOU UP! She's a great consultant - takes after my mother :~) Anywho... I'm really excited about my order, can't wait to get it - yay!!!!!!!!

AND, if you go on-line and you like the products... Kelly is having an open house to display her products THIS Friday, November 28th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m..... feel free to drop in and check it out! Just tell her I invited you - she won't mind :~) She's conveniently located in Marshall, IL - so hit me up if you want her address or more details. (and for the record, I'm not getting paid to say this stuff - I just love her THAT much) You can stop by her house and un-wind and grab a snack after your early morning shopping spree in Terre Haute fighting all the crazies!!!!

So Turkey Day is quickly approaching - BE THANKFUL! Today's local paper published the 4th graders blurbs of what they are thankful for. My son wrote the following - he's thankful for.... "....my family, my dogs, God, my cat, and for my teacher." AWE - he does have thee very best teacher in the world - Mrs. Cheryl Margason - LOVE HER! I had her when I was in the 4th grade as well - and she was my all-time fave teacher! I was so very excited that T would get to have her as well!!! Double Whammy! As a matter of fact, he reminds me often how he's luckier than me b/c he gets to see Mrs. Margason almost every day - LOL! What a stinker!

So back to Turkey Day.... I'm aging my friends, and I"m showing it! As many of us know, the night before T-Day is probably the busiest night of the year in the big town of Marshall. Well, this year I'm just not feeling up to it - ugh! I used to be the first one signing up for the biggest party in town... now I'd rather stay home with my book, wrapped up on my couch w/my hot cocoa! TELL ME THAT'S NOT A SIGN OF GETTING OLD?!!!! No, don't - I know it is! Something about a crowded place, loud music, etc... I just don't enjoy it anymore! So if anyone wants to dress in purple, throw on a red hat and have a lil' get together.... CALL ME! I'm up for doing something, just not trying to fight a crowd!

We're post-poning Thanksgiving with my fam this year. It just doesn't feel right for all of us to get together and chow down while lil' Miss Anne is still at IU Med. I am extra thankful this year just for having Anne and Mel still in our lives - I don't need a sit-down meal and 2,000 calories to be anymore thankful! I'll celebrate when Anne is well enough to come home!!!! We've had a very eye-opening year. So be sure to enjoy every moment you have with your family.... we're all guilty of taking them for granted from time to time.

So give me some feedback and let me know what the best bargains being advertised for Black Friday are.....


Now or Never

FINALLY... we made it to see HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 today!!! Yee-haw!!!! LOVE IT!!! In case you haven't seen it, "Now or Never" is the opening song - EEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Nathan couldn't justify us spending the $$ to see it in the theatres - which is why we hadn't seen it yet. However, one of his buddies was going to come over today to play Halo with him, so T and I made an afternoon "date" to go see it since it's now in the 5 Buck Club. Funny thing... Nathan's buddy didn't end up showing up, AND he went with us - double date for me! yay! I'd heard mixed reviews... some adults said it was "ok" but all the kids were raving about it. Well, I'm with the younger crowd - IT ROCKED! I must admit too, there was a couple parts I got a lil' teary-eyed.

So that was the end of my oh-so fab weekend! So let's go back in time a bit...

Friday - I was on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!!!! My BFF and I went on our annual Christmas shopping trip to Champaign, IL.. home of the FIGHTING ILLINI!!!!!!!!!! It was a FABULOUS day, as always! I started my Christmas shopping Friday, and I probably completed 95% of it! Yee-haw! That's such a good feeling! I HATE fighting the crowds in Terrible Haute! UGH! We even made it there and back with no cop involvement! OOT-OOT!

Saturday - went to mom's (where I "hide/store" my Christmas gifts -- went thru all my purchases. It's amazing when you spend all day shopping, you forget what all you buy - LOL! I did good in sticking to my list tho! Then last night we had dinner at my mother-in-law's with B.L.O.E.! (that's an acronym for Nathan's bro's fam) It was STUNNING company as always! I am so lucky to have thee cutest nieces and nephews, and some of the very best sil's in the world!

Sunday - today - up early and read deep into "new moon". YES, I'm sucked into the vampires and warewolves! UGH! I laughed at my m-i-l on our trip to Atlanta b/c she couldn't put the books down, I'm not THAT into it - but I am thoroughly enjoying the books and getting thru them rather quickly!

Tomorrow I head back to work. I'm ready to go tho - I have things done around the house. I spent 2.5 hours today in my son's room... throwing broken things out and bagging up goodies to take to goodwill. Hopefully they'll put a smile on some other lil' ones face this Christmas! His room looks exceptional tho - love it! He had a friend spend the night Friday, and his room got TRASHED! Amazing the damage two 9 yr olds can do in so little time.

I think that about wraps up my weekend. I wish I had some pics to share, but I've been non-camera ready this weekend - sorry!

Cheers to everyone and enjoying a glorious Thanksgiving week ahead! XO


Joy Germ

Today's Daily Splash of Joy:
Become a joy germ and infect everyone around you!

How funny is that?

So tonight T has his first practice for the FCC Christmas Program - he's excited! I'm anxious to see how well he does. We also found out his first basketball tournament is going to be Dec 20th-21st which is VERY exciting too!


King of The Ocean

Meet the newest addition to the Bennett family! His name is "King of the Ocean"... so cleverly named by T! :~) If you have a fish tank is in area which you can often see, a fiddler crab is a MUST! These guys are so neat to watch! This is our THIRD - ugh! They're inexpensive tho, and I'm pretty sure my husband pushed the 2nd one from an upper level... and crabs do NOT land on their feet like cats!

So it's been several months since we've had a crab. Everytime we went to PetCo they were out. So last week while I was in there, they offered to order me a couple. Because we only have a 36 gallon tank, it was not recommended that we have put more than 2 crabs in it at one time (they can apparently be rather territorial).

So here's crab #2 - he's quite a bit smaller. As you can see he's quite a bit smaller. We usually let T name our animals, and as of last night we hadn't thought of a name for him.... hence, crab #2.

So here's a pic of our beautiful fish tank which I have enjoyed soooooo much more than I ever thought I would. Well, I guess it's not such a great pic b/c you can't see the whole thing - but T has decked it out quite nicely over the last year and a half.

So last night we watched the crabs battle - OMG! It was entertaining! Talk about territorial... funny thing was - the smaller one was going after the bigger one. But then the bigger one would always win. So last night it was time for bed... lights out! We woke up this morning, and we no longer have a need for a name for crab #2... we believe King of The Ocean got the best of him last night! This morning he was lying upside down on his back, not moving an inch. :~( Which is how we've found our other ones when they've died. Poor lil' guy... guess he needs to learn to pick on crabs his own size, huh?!

So as I'm sure you could all tell from my previous post - I got my normal 8 week hi-lights/loights down last night, along with a choparoo! T gets his hair buzzed tonight - it needs it baaaaad!

And, and, AND..... I'm receiving some positive feedback for the 2009 Breast Cancer Walk in San Diego....... I sooooooooo can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today's Daily Splash of Joy:

You can only be young once, but you can be immature forever.


Getting highlights...

Anyone else get bored under the dryer? I do!!!I


Easy Pleasing Meatloaf

Tonight I tried out a new recipe on my picky-eater. It was SUPER easy and they both really liked it, so I thought I'd share (if your family will eat meatloaf)...

2 lbs extra lean ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup water
6oz box Stove Top stuffing mix for chicken
1/2 C bbq sauce, divided (whatever your fav is - we like the sweet stuff)

Mix all ingredients together except for 1/4 cup bbq sauce. Form into a loaf and place in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Spread remaining 1/4 cup bbq sauce on top. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour or until cooked through.

Neither of my boys are easy pleasers, and even my husband told me to keep ahold of this recipe. So good luck to all/any of you busy moms!!!

So that was a good ending to my not-so-great day. It was Monday - blah! I'm usually ready to head back to work on Monday, but I sure wasn't this morning. I was in a drab mood all friggin' day - I HATE days like that! I'm NOT ready for this cold weather, but mother nature doesn't really seem to care about my opinion. She told me I could move if I didn't like it.. hhmmm? Yes, that's an option - but not likely to happen. So I'll just stay bundled up in my blankie on my couch and go outside in the cold as lil' as possible.

Now I'm getting ready to hit "post" to post this blog... and I look over and notice my Cosmo magazine next to me. The first headline on the cover I read... "Lose Weight While You Eat". Are you kidding me? Seriously??!! I am so tired of all these 'miracle' diets, solutions, advertisements, etc... they're everywhere you turn now! What happened to the old fashion way of dieting.... ie. don't consume so many calories!!! DING-DING-DING... now there's an idea! And I don't want to hear the song n dance - I've been every weight and tried all sorts of diets in my lifetime - it goes back to the basics. If you ingest more than what you burn in a day, you're going to gain weight. If you burn more than what you eat - you'll lose weight. Now there are ALL sorts of ways to play with the numbers - but it is what it is (in my opinion). Personally, I feel it's just another arena we're all getting sucked waaaaaaaaaay too deep in to - and yes, I speak for myself as well! Let's just work on being proud of who we are - okay, I'll start (just let me get out of this foul mood first) SORRY!


Three-Peat... UGH! Congrats to my bro tho...

As much as it hurts... I must congratulate my brother and any other Jimmy Johnson fan on their 3-peat Championship! Personally, I've never been a Johnson fan but it is an accomplishment! And when Jr. became a "free agent", I was quite sure the last team he would be a part of was the Hendricks Motorsports team. Obviously I wasn't consulted..... because before I could stop it the papers were signed, and my bro and I were now a part of the same team. I got the call from him "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"! LOL! It's all in fun... I know down-deep the one and only reason he is a JJ fan is b/c I will always be his younger sister - and it was 1 of the 2 drivers in Nascar that he knew would get under my skin. So it's been an on-going battle. I cringe to say that he's in the lead - 3 years in a row now! So enjoy it for another year... there's always next year bro!

We went out to Josh n Kelly's to watch the race. It's always a good time, a lot of fun and great company out there - aside from our opposing views of drivers - hee-hee-hee! THANK YOU to both of you for being such great hosts!!!!!!!!!

AND - I am pretty sure I just wrapped up my Mother of The Year award! While in Indy this weekend I came across a High School Musical tin with some "goodies" in it. One of which is a WILDCATS blanket that T is currently wrapped up in! Oh yea - I rock!!! It's always exciting to come home when there's a lil' "surprise" waiting on you! :~)

Time to get ready for another Manic Monday! Chat with you all later!!!!!!!!!!!


Our Lil' Miracle....

And now for an update on Anne!!!!! I'm going to go back in time since I haven't posted for a couple of weeks. But this pic of Anne was a VERY big day for her! November 1st... it was a big day for several reasons. Most importantly - she reached the 4 lb mark on this day!!!!!! This is a big # to reach... at 4 lbs she was able to come out of her isolet, AND she was able to get dressed for the first time!!! I was extremely lucky to have been able to visit on such a special day! Since I was standing by Anne's "closet" at the time, Mel told me to pick something out for her to wear. WHAT?!??!??!! Okay, maybe this doesn't sound like much.. but it was VERY stressful for me! Anne's VERY FIRST outfit - HUGE JOB for an aunt! I mean... in looking at this pic I'm quite proud of my choice. HOWEVER, what if one day Anne looks back at this pic and snarls her nose at the clothes - IT'S ALL MY FAULT! LOL! I'm kidding, but I'm not kidding when I say I was overwhelmed... overwhelmed with joy! So this was a VERY BIG day for Anne - I was so proud of her! AND, and, and, and.... I got to hold Anne for the very first time this day as well! November 1st, 2008... it was a big day for Anne and for me as an aunt as well! Thank you Mel... in so many ways!!!!!

And another big day - Anne's FIRST bottle! November 9th! She did so good with it too! If only SHE knew how many of us are cheering for her! The Colts have nothing on Ms. Anne... Lucas Oil Stadium couldn't hold all of her fans!

Snuggle time with Aunt Julie!!!! This was last Saturday when I went up to visit her :~) How lucky am I?

And LOOK at all of her fuzzy hair!!! Is she not thee most precious thing every?! UGH! I could snuggle with her and hold her tight each and every day!!!!

And here we are today... 11/15/08. Anne topped out at an amazing 5.1 lbs today! And not only did Jeff n Mel give her up for me to snuggle with during my visit, BUT they also gave me the phenomenal pleasure of feeding her!!! I can't even explain the butterflies in my tummy everytime they offer to let me do what may seem like such a small task to anyone else. I honestly feel like one of thee luckiest people alive! She's a miracle - I just don't know what else to say!!!!!

Icy Mud Schfockers

So Friday after T went to his dad's, Nathan and I ventured to Indy for another wonderous night out on the town with Jill-Katherine. As always, it was a lovely adventure. We had dinner at 106th Street Grill (ironically located on 106th street as my husband pointed out). I've even included an oh-so yummy photo of the cajun chicken nachos Kitty Kat and I shared - YUM! While we were there we saw many celebrities... one of which was Kate Hudson (okay, so MAYBE these people just looked like celebrities)... we were trying to avoid the paparazzi at all cost ourselves - so we never attempted to confirm their names by asking for birth certificates.

Post-dinner we went to a local pub which I'll refer to as PJ's - it gets too complex if I go any further with it's name. It was a rather low-key night, but as I'm sure you can tell by some of our pics... regardless of our "key" - it's always a good time! I could sit back and listen to Kitty Kat and NB rattle on to each other for HOURS! They are hysterical!!!! We're so gay! LOL!

We got up this morning, got to rolling, and had lunch at this FAB lil' diner called FIVE GUYS! If you've not been there.. apparently they're known for having the best burgers around. It's a lil' diner on 86th St between Keystone and Castleton (maybe it's 82nd St at that point - I don't know, darn roads change w/out changing)... anywho - if you know the area, you'll understand. They don't have a food selection beyond burgers, hot dogs and fries - but by golly if you're craving a burger n fries it's worth the trip! YUM, YUM, YUM!!! The fries friggin' rocked too!!!

Post-lunch we went to Castleton mall for a lil' browsing. Nothing exciting, other than my husband built himself a remote control car. Yes - I'm sure most of you are familiar with Build-A-Bear workshop... same concept, but you build a custom remote control car instead of a loving bear! Testosterone.... I don't understand??? GREAT Christmas idea tho if you have a male on your Christmas list! I'm sure the younger ones would think it's even better, but the older ones that are still young at heart (like mine) would be just as thrilled!

Another great visit! THANK YOU KITTY-KAT! Your hospitality is like no other! XOXOXOXO


Body Language

Okay, so I'm 34 years old... at what point does one listen to their body when it speaks to them? I LOVE TO RUN! If Columbia Pics was searching for a female to run along side Forrest - I would've been their gal at one point - oh, let's just say about 2.7 years ago! UGH! It was then that I started having knee problems. Doc said STOP RUNNING! HA! Yea, right! And then it got to the point I physically could NOT run b/c my knee locked up ... ggrrr! So several months of physical therapy, and I was back running with a waaaaaaaaaay too expensive brace on my knee!

So I gradually got back into it and then I started having progressing pains in my foot - left knee, now left foot! Ignoring the pain yet again, I was finally forced to stop running and consult the doc again - ugh! Are you kidding me??? I'm friggin 33 years old (at this point)! So we did the usual xrays, found out I have 2 extra bones in my big toe (btw, lemme know if you need one... I'd be happy to share)... was told to take it easy, let the swelling go down, take these prescription anti-inflam meds... and in a month or so you should feel better. Oh, and by the way - STOP RUNNING!

I've tried folks... I really, really, really have! But running is an addiction! Surely there's someone else out there who feels the same. It is SUCH a stress reliever, it makes you feel good... Rocky Balboa ain't got sh*t on me! But why, why, WHY is my body rejecting it? At what point do you throw the towel in? I'M NOT READY!!!

So August 12th rolls around... a few drinks and a midnight walk home - and I, Julie Bennett, have a broken ankle. Guess what?! You can't run on a broken ankle.... so I was laid up for what seemed like EVER! Obviously if I'm able to break my ankle walking... it's probably not a good idea to put that same girl on crutches - CRUTCHES?! Are you kidding me? You might as well cut off both legs, b/c I was about as immobile with crutches as I would've been w/out. I AM NOT COORDINATED!!!!! Not to mention being on pain meds.... I missed my beer! I'm drifting here - but this is funny... so a week goes by where I've been laid up at home - eating, drinking, sleeping and working from my couch. The only attempts of movement I make is to go potty. Had insurance been willing to pay for a catheter... I MIGHT have just signed up to avoid the crutches. So mind you - at this point I've been stuck in my square house for 7 days now! Not seeing the world outside of my box, probably getting bed/couch sores, and even worse... NOT A DRIP OF BEER to touch my pallet! UGH! NO, I don't need a 12-pack... but I DO enjoy a couple beers every other night or so. And to go over 7 days w/out a single sip... ugh! I was going nuts-oh! Nuts-oh enough that after the 7th day my dear mother called the local coroner!!!! Yes she did! I'm still a lil' uncertain of her original motives; however, keep in mind there is an advantage to being in good with the coroner - we're buds! Had we not been, I might still be digging dirt out from underneath fingernails.... BUT, instead.. my mom leaves there and shows up to my house with a wheelchair and 12-pack of Busch N/A!!! Talk about seeing "the light"!!! I was like a mouse who just found the block of cheese on an already tripped trap - I couldn't scoot my buns over to it all fast enough! I never understood before this why old people in nursing homes sat outside and... well... just SAT there! Now I know... you need confirmation that there is life outside the walls! So, if you can picture this, my mother and I finagled (is that a word)... but got me in the wheel chair, my hubby strolled me around the block to my parents front yard since they live on a main road - and I sat outside this lovely Friday evening in my wheelchair, drinking my N/A beer and absorbing all that mother nature had to offer! My husband says I sat out there for sympathy.... I say I sat out there for sanity! THANK YOU to our local coroner, and thank you to the great folks who manufacture N/A beer! It kept me from getting the walls of my house padded!!!

Alright - so that was my funny I drifted off on. So back to my body language - obviously being laid up with a broken ankle I wasn't running. Well, now the ankle's healed, I've been cleared by the doc... and so guess what I'm attempting to do again? RUN! Yes, I'm taking it easy... but Good Golly - define "easy"! I only went 3 miles today, and after I cooled down, stretched, relaxed a bit - I could barely move my friggin ankle! I hear my ankle is likely to always swell anytime I run... but SERIOUSLY! First the knee, then the foot and now my ankle! My point to this blog... how many signs does your body need to give you before you listen and accept it? I'm NOT okay with thinking I should give it up! I've found joy in no other cardio like I've found in running! I'm open to suggestions! I even tried switching from cans to bottles thinking I'd be burning my calories from the lifting since they're clearly heavier! HA! I think I must be somehow ingesting a portion of each bottle b/c the other day my jeans sat me down and had a heart-to-heart with me.



Can anyone really get tired of seeing that acronym and knowing it's for real? I guess if you are a weekend-worker then perhaps the sight/thought of it doesn't bring you nearly as much joy. But for a Mon-Fri worker like myself... TGIF = :~)

So I know I just blogged last night before bed; however, I was curious if I'd be able to blog from work. You know... that dreaded big red box you see that says "website blocked" - meaning YOU'RE NOT WORKING! Hmmm... well, for now - I'm good to go!

Anywho... so since I wasn't at work yesterday I missed my "Daily Splash of Joy". It's a daily calendar I picked up at The Open Door last Christmas while shopping for others. Now, if you're on my Christmas list - please don't run out and by one - it just MIGHT be underneath that expensive wrapping paper this year with a tag on it from ME, JT :~)

But I couldn't help but pass up sharing yesterday's "Daily Splash of Joy":
Correct your children while there is still hope; do not let them destroy


My Husband just asked "You're a blogger now?" LMAO!!!!

So this is my 4th grader... hence the 4 fingers being held up! Traditional first day of school pic.

It was pretty excting for all of because T actually got my fav teacher EVER!!!! Mrs. Cheryl Margason!!! I had so many others that hit the charts high, but for some reason I just feel like she was put in my life for a reason! And now T gets to have her too - yay!!!! It's exciting, but at the same time it's kinda nerve-wracking because what if he acts up and Mrs. Margason gets mad at him??? Then what do I do? Let's just hope he's as well-behaved as I was :~)

And now meet HANK! Hank is our labmaraner! He's half chocolate lab and half weimeraner... BEAUTIFUL puppy! He's built like a weim, but he's the color of the chocolate lab, and he has the energy of BOTH!!! Hank is only 9 months old, so we still have A LOT of puppy turbulence ahead. HOWEVER, he's awesome! After losing my black lab, I always said I'd never own another animal b/c you get too attached, they die, and who wants to willingly put yourself thru that?! Well, I've eaten my words.... we have Hank! But nothing compares... what else loves you unconditionally, is always happy to see you, will let you yell at them, cry on them, wear a leash... and still love you?! They say a dog is a man's best friend - why won't men listen to their best friend then and try to do as they do? J/K!! I know any male reading this is thinking how nice it would be to have a wife on a leash as well - I KNOW!!!

The makings of The Official Bennett Farm! Many of you have previously heard this story - but much to MY surprise, zucchini will grow in the rich soils of Marshall, IL - in town mind you, along our deck, with little sun and even less rain! Yes, I chuckled to myself when T planted the seeds.... and then I chuckled again when I saw how big his friggin zucchini were! Holy cow! That was one of the many highlights to our summer :~)

Brickyard - August 2008. T's ready to go racing!!! Mind you - this GLORIOUS hat he's wearing he WON!!! Pre-race we walked around the trailers, and low n behold the National Guard (et umm... Go Jr) - they were having sit-up, push-up, chin-up, etc... all sorts of competitions. Well, my lil' man won the most sit-ups for his age group and he was given this BEAUTIFUL hat that can't be purchased! I was soooo proud of him! He was pretty proud of himself too :~)

And aside from all the other fun activities we had this summer... the majority of our time was spent at the baseball fields.... soooooooooooooo much fun!

Can't knock it 'til you try it, eh?

Okay, my VERY FIRST blog - I had it all typed out, ready to publish, it was looking BEAUTIFUL - and I went to reduce the font-size and the mother *#&*# disappeared... HOW does that happen? Seriously?! UNACCEPTABLE! It was good, it was wonderful, and perhaps even had a few funnies! I was even going to post the blog before I tried adding pics so that way I didn't lose everything I'd just typed. Well guess what.... it happened regardless! UGH! I know many of you pro-bloggers are chuckling to yourself b/c this has perhaps happened to you, but hello??!! My FIRST BLOG?!

Anywho - I had a really nice run-down of how life's been going. In a nutshell - it's been friggin crazy! I do nothing but work... work.... work... and then maybe, if I have time, do a lil' more work. Which is why I've decided to blog. I no longer have the time to email all my dear friends and family individually, to stay in touch, etc... so I'm hoping by posting this blog that I'll somehow be able to at least feel as tho i still have life outside of my job.

I'm looking forward to a fun weekend ahead. T goes to his dad's this weekend... Nathan and I are then heading to Indy tomorrow evening and hitting the town with my future co-host Jill Katherine. It's always an adventure... it's every camera's dream! Stay tuned for those pics post-weekend.

Saturday we'll go see Anne! Can't wait!!! She's a miracle, and every time I'm with her I feel closer to God! And no, I"m not a bible-banger... but you can't witness what Melissa and Anne went thru and question the powers above! The night Anne was born, God didn't send his angels to watch over them... he handled that one on His own!

So now we're to Sunday.... Sunday we'll go to church in the a.m, and then my BFF is having a race party for the final race of the season. Yes, Jimmy pretty much has it wrapped up for the year. But just like all you Cubbies fans... I'll say the same "there's always next year"!

Okay - so I'm going to post and then return with some pics - MAYBE?! It's getting late - late for me - I'm an early riser! We'll see... I need to get this posted before I lose it all again - hee-hee-hee! Oh the joys of technology!

Thanks for dropping in! I really and truly hope to be able to keep everyone updated. My apologies go out to those of you who haven't heard much from me... well, that's pretty much everyone! XO

WARNING - I ramble! So if you ever begin reading my blogs and find I'm jumping from one thing to the next and back again - well, that's how my brain works. OR, perhaps you'll find yourself yawning and nodding off to sleep.. don't feel bad, just don't say I didn't warn you! :~)


ROSEBOWL - JAN 1, 2008