Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When Hannah was born, Daryl made her a swing with the help of Daniel. Now that Alyssa has come along, Daryl made a swing for this Bennett tribe, this time with the help of Uncle Matt. Alyssa liked it, and we think she looks adorable in it! Now she can go outside with Daddy and Mommy when they want to be in the back yard!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tarrant County Public Health
Safeguarding Our Community's Health

Well, today was my first day working for the Tarrant County Public Health Department, Environmental Health division. I am one happy girl!!!

More to come later....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Alyssa Faith Bennett

Go see Daryl's blog for a better assortment of pics...

This is probably my favorite pic from today. Today Alyssa Faith Bennett was born at 1:06 pm, weighed 8 lbs and 4 ounces. She was 20 1/4 inches long.

Julia was having some pretty serious blood pressure problems, which have been going on for a couple of weeks, and got worse this week. The doc put her in the hospital Tuesday evening, did some sonograms, a 24 hour test of some sort was planned, but by this morning, the decision was a C-section.

The C-section went well, and in spite of the difficulties Julia and Andrew have been through since mid-July, Alyssa was born healthy, whole of mind and body, (all answers to our prayers!) and Julia came through fine. She's in a lot of discomfort (Julia might call that an understatement!) but still managed to look beautiful holding her little one when we walked in.

The Grandparents all showed up by the time they were bathing Alyssa (I think the Jones' had been there much longer than we had) and stood around oohing and ahing to our hearts content. The nurses were kind, and put her at the window for our viewing and picture-taking pleasure.

We went for a soda, then came back when the kids were ready for a little visit. As different grandparents held Alyssa, I noticed Andrew stood near, watching his little one. When we were done, he scooped her into his arms, comfortably plopped himself indian style on a chair, and looked content cuddling his girl.

Congratulations to our kids, but even more, Praise to the Lord for bringing Alyssa Faith safely into the world, and for preserving our Julia through childbirth. We rejoice!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Your children will be taught of the Lord...

There's an Old Testament verse that speaks of your children being taught of the Lord. I may be pulling it a bit out of context, but it certainly is the hope of every believing parent that their children move from being taught at our tables to being taught of the Lord, that they will make the Lord their trust, that they will walk with the Lord and bring glory to Him in their personal walks. We have that great blessing in our children. They have made the Lord their trust, and they are taught of Him. It's wonderful to watch His plan unfold in their lives. Adult children are as fun as little ones. In fact, our next event is waiting for the birth of our next grandchild that Andrew and Julia are expecting any day now!

We had the privilege this weekend to watch God unfold some of his plan in Daniel, our eldest. All 4 of the grandparents (Daryl, myself, Dave, and Linda Pait) were at the "Grand Opening to the public" (not the best term but descriptive) of Bethany Community Church. This is a church plant from the parent church, Bethany Baptist Church in Peoria, Illinois. The plant is in Washington, Illinois. I can't begin to describe the emotion of the day, and didn't want to head to bed until I get some of these thoughts in type. I guess it was sort of like the birth of a grandchild, in that you are so overwhelmed at God's grace and work in your children, and that something of great joy has been born. Daryl and I were both overcome and found our eyes leaking, but I'm not sure quite what the emotions were. I think it was just the joy of seeing God's Hand working in our children.

As the service began, I had to fight being proud of Daniel...I knew it isn't his church, it's the Lord's church, and His mighty grace at work. However, I confess to some initial parental "pride". As I battled that, I realized that I was with fellow believers, and was there to worship God, not honor Daniel. The wonderful thing was, it was easy to make that shift. The focus was not on the leadership, the newness of the church, or even the 596 people in attendance. The focus was on the Lord. He didn't distract from that by saying, "I want to introduce...or I want to thank" anybody. No focus on who did what, or on what hard work went into the day. Daniel just led his flock into worship and the teaching of the Word.

It was a wonderful time, and I'm glad to have been there for it. Thanks, Dave, for the work you did getting tickets for us that were economical, and Thanks, Daryl my love, for letting THIS be the weekend we went. I wouldn't want to have missed this for anything!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Space Shuttle takes flight...

Well, I sold the Space Shuttle Sparrow. I named it that because it was about as big as a Space Shuttle, and with me driving, it reminded me of the phrase from a song, "His eye is on the Sparrow, so I know He watches me."

I owned the Shuttle for 11 years. It's maiden voyage was to Florida to see my sister and her family. It has been to Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, and who knows where else in the state of Texas! It's been to Sea World, Six Flags, camping trips, local excursions, and uncountable trips to church and church functions. It has shuttled friends, family, and even a few folks who were neutral, but rode with me anyway. :-) It has provided comfort to our family and friends and a graciousness of hospitality afforded by few vehicles. When we bought it, I was resistant to purchasing a huge van, but Daryl wisely said it was best for the family for a while. My hands had to be pried off the steering wheel to sell it, and if I had gone car hunting before I sold it, it would probably still be in the driveway! May it be wonderful for your family, Fidel and Debbie!

My kids are good to me....

I have the nicest kids (this does, by the way, include my daughters-in-love and a girlfriend). (Note: I have nice grandkids, too, but this one is for my kids.) Even as adults, they still let me do things for them. And they do stuff for me. They care, they call, they help, they console, they laugh (sometimes with me, sometimes at me), they include me in their lives, they give me grandchildren, they pray for me, they seek out my company, they honor their parents. I'm a blessed woman.

Thanks, Matt, for today. It reminded me how you all look out for me, even when I'm resistant.
Love you all....MOM

Monday, June 16, 2008

Life's Via Points

Hi. Daryl's upstairs blogging, so of course, I have to get my blog done at the same time! We had a wonderful trip to Arkansas last weekend. It's awfully easy in the midst of health stuff to fail to plan to have fun. It's easy to lose sight of the freedom you DO have to do stuff. It can be consuming.

So, we planned a trip, thought we wouldn't get to do it, but DID get to do it. It was refreshing and fun to get away.
We have been going to Arkansas by our current route for probably about 26 years. As we go, we pass the Crater of Diamonds State Park, and DeGray Lake State Park. Two very enticing places to go, but when you have a destination, you seldom do via points.

This trip, we did the via points. We stopped Thursday at Crater of Diamonds State Park, and sifted for pretty rocks. No diamonds, but lots of fun. I kept moving around, hunting here and there, digging from different spots, shoveling up various rocks, not sure how to use the sifter. My system was pretty useless, and I was wondering where the fun was. Finally, I got the hang of using the sifter (not having the sense to ask Daryl how, and him figuring ANYBODY could use a sifter) and started having fun. (I do know what Jasper looks like now.) It was kind of like gold fever must have been, only less successful. I ended our time thinking..."next time....".

Then we hustled on to our next via point...DeGray Lake State Park. VERY pretty place...it sits on a literal island. (I hope my kids note that their Mom crossed a bridge to an island....) We had a nice dinner with a lake view, and afterwards sat outside and watched the geese (and made some ministry phone calls, and worked sudoku) and took a walk along the trail behind the lodge.

Our final stop was Heber Springs, where we had a great visit
with Jim & Ginny and 2 of their grandchildren, Vanita & Terry, and Mom Bennett. Mother was in a good mood, and was perky and alert. (One picture has Daryl and Vanita with Mom, who was pointing at me for pestering her, the other is Jim and Gin's grandsons. We took her out to where the family had donated some Bradford pear trees 3 years ago. They have grown well. I like to think the trees inspired some other improvements the nursing home has made to the sitting area. They've added flowers, some nice wicker furniture, a little garden. It's the nicest spot on the nursing home property.

We were talking later about how hard it is with Daryl's cancer and back problems to know how to plan. To know how to dream. I guess what one has to do in life, regardless of its challenges, is to learn where the via points are. How to find those places of fun and rest that enhance the trip. As a result, I'm going to start trying to find life's via points along the way. They can be pretty fun!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Blooms of Friendship

The flowers in this picture are Camellia's. Over the years, we've made a lot of memories with the Hensley Family. One of those memories was a trip that Kathy, her sister Julia, and myself made to a Camellia garden. At the end of the trip, I bought 2 Camellia plants to bring back to Daryl, who loves to make our property bloom and who financed my trip to Georgia so I could see Kathy.

Over the years, they've gotten to be a bit of a joke. We get one, maybe 2 blooms a year, and those usually have a brown tinge to them that isn't good.

This year, I was in the backyard and realized the plants were FULL of blooms! Daryl had told me they were blooming, but never did I imagine more than the one or two brown blooms we usually got! They were loaded, full, beautiful blooms! I cut a little more than half of them, and put them inside in a vase. The humorous thing was that I found out I was allergic to them, so I put the vase on the back porch outside my kitchen window, where I enjoy them while I clean the kitchen.

Just thought you'd want to see them, Kathy!

Legacy of Love

It's been a while since I posted. We've been a little busy! After a wonderful November with the Illinois Bennett's, and a fun Christmas, we hit the new year. My Aunt Margaret passed away the first bit of January, and I was blessed to get to go home for the funeral. (Thanks, Daryl!)

Mom and I took one morning and went to my Aunt's apartment to go through her things, since Mom wanted me to choose a quilt for myself and Teresa, and some things to bring back to some of the other females in the family.

We have been through a similar set of visits to Arkansas, during which we and Daryl's siblings have gone through the stuff of his folks' house. It's been rewarding to share memories and stories, and to sort through the "stuff" together.

As I thought about the scavenger-like feeling of going through someone else's life collection, I pondered the right/wrong of it all, and came to a conclusion or two.

At the end of one's life, you need to have invested enough in others for there to be someone who wants some of your stuff. There needs to be someone out there who wants to have something of yours to keep alive the memory of things you did together, to have a piece of your legacy in tangible form. Someone needs to see the treasure in your things, just because they were yours.

Something else I learned is that even though you may not have met the people who owned some of the items, a sense of family is carried on through the legacy left in "things". It becomes a connection to the people whose names grace your family lineage.

From Margaret, I came home with a beautiful quilt that she made. She loved to quilt, and to give them as gifts. I have one she made me when Daryl and I got married...it had fabric from all sorts of clothes I'd made as a younger girl. I ended up with a picture of my grandparents holding ME as a little baby! I have a coffee table runner now that my Grandma crocheted the border for, as well as one to take to Whitney. Julia now has a lovely broach that was Margaret's. Emily and Hannah have a piece of jewelry each. Margaret will be remembered each time we enjoy these things, and her legacy will live on. What is the legacy we will remember? Margaret was always willing to play, to do, just to peacefully be. She never worried about winning games, and always had an "available" heart. She taught me to have an available heart, too.

From Mom Bennett, I have her old nut chopper. I remember her using it for all those wonderful desserts she made for every occasion. At one time, she wrote down what everybody's favorite dessert was, and tried to have it made when they arrived at her house. She also mistakenly thought Daryl loved Lazy Daisy Cake, but that's another story! I got the pickle bowl and the Cranberry Fluff bowl, and the silver set that was "the one thing she ever won". Where Vanita could have appropriately claimed anything she wanted as the only birth daughter, she open-handedly shared those memories around the family. We shared things that Mom Bennett had from generations who went before her.

I guess the final analysis is that I hope someone wants my stuff when I pass on. That there will be a few things that my kids and off spring will sit down and remember me as they go through them. That the funny stories will be remembered, and that my life will have been such that there are good memories to be had when they look at those things. I have little doubt that MY Aunt Margaret's quilt and Mom Bennett's things will be among those things. May my legacy, like Aunt Margaret's, be a Legacy of Love.