Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy New Year


I realize that it is way past January 1st, but according to this site, it has been over a year since I've blogged.....

Many things have happened since last year; for the love of time and sanity I will only update the most crucial items. Here goes and happy reading....

Brooks had two birthdays and is now two years older . Interesting since it has only been one year, but he had two "Special" days during that time. Isn't he amazing!! and he is now 42....don't tell him I told you. He is still fishing and building and fishing and building and being the "BESTEST DAD EVERYDAY!" (ala Nee-nee) Brooks dreams of running his own charter Fishing Boat...The Rusty Hook Fishing Co. Its a good thing we looooovvvvveeeee fish tacos around here. He is always willing to take anyone visiting on a fishing trip, either in the kayak or by foot, hiking into many "unknown" fishing holes...."No, those NO TRESPASSING signs don't mean us...."

The great and might fisher-man

Merin has only had ONE birthday and is still sweet 16!!! I know, you are asking your self,"How does she do this year after year!!!" I will finally let my adoring fans in on my trade secret.............Hopefull it will work for you too!! I was able to take a "Mom and Max" trip to Oahu in January. We crashed the vacation of our mosty favorite family, the Hughes, and were able to spend 4 wonderful days touring and having fun. I am blessed that my job allows these opportunities for memories and one on one with my kids. Spending the time with Lisa, Eric and the girls was the best part of the trip. We snorkeled Haunama Bay and swam with turtles, saw a Japanese tourist in a skimpy pink speedo,(and took pics of him!!! This is for you Syd!!!), mastered the public transportation system, went to Pearl Harbor and learned that the Supper Shuttle is a travelers best friend!!!

Pink Speedo Japanese man at Haunama Bay Max and I at the Pearl Harbor Memorial

Max....well, he's been Max. He is now 13 and is as tall as his mother. scary...He started 7th grade and entered the Dead Zone.... MIDDLE SCHOOL!!! He has transitioned very well, considering he was sent to a school that only 3 of the kids from his elementary went to. New school, new friends, new hormones...Oh, I mean a new time of life..He has worked very hard in school and has made the Principal's Honor Roll twice so far. He makes his dad and I proud with his self motivation and dedication...He wants to go to USC for college. Now, for those of you reading this that are tried and true Blue fans, don't worry, BYU is his "Just in case" school. Grandpa Moore is rolling over in his grave... We finally gave in to his pleads and cries, well, Brooks did, and he was able to play Football....He was amazing. For a kid whose main sport was (and still should be) soccer, he had a blast. No major injuries, just a minor ankle things that kept him out of Rugby this season. Yes I did say Rugby. There is an amazing Youth Rugby league here in SLO, and we thought it would be fun to try. He was able to play the previous season and had hopes of it again, but injury. We hope next season will be a go for sure. He also played water polo and is now trying to decide what to do in high school since both sports are at the same time. (h2opolo, h2opolo)

Neely turned 8 in December and can't wait to turn 18 this year....She is our true fashionista and diva. Hair done....check. Stylish and cute clothes......check. Accessories.....check. Happenin' shoes.....double check. She exhausts and delights me with her feminine ways. She must get that from her dad.....She started 2nd grade and loves it. She has discovered the love and joy of reading and delights in asking EVERY night,"When I go to bed, can read, even just one chapter..." The manipulation! She knows I can't say no to that! She is such a warm and caring young lady with a sensitive soul. She is the first to laugh, cry, anger, forgive, love, kiss, hug, help, ...well, you get the idea. She also loves to sing and dance and had the chance to perform in the finale at our school talent show this year. She danced to MJ's Thriller. She got all Zombied out and loved it. She is soo beautiful that it takes my breath away every day. Her blue eyes can melt a glacier at 100 yards...Seriously. She loves to go to church and learn new things, or at least things she thinks are new and needs to fill us in on them for the sake of our eternal salvation....She decided not to play soccer this year because she "hates to just run and kick the ball!" Since that is tha main object of said sport, we felt it best not to sign her up. She did want to try basketball though and really loved "running with and bouncing the ball!" Go figure...Her uniforms were purple and that made it all the better and she got spiffy gray basketball high tops for her birthday from Max, so again...Clothes...check. Happenin' shoes....double check. VERY cool purple leg warmers to match her jersey...check.

Last, but definitely not least......

Darby is almost ready for her world invasion, eh, tour, I mean domination. She has more energy and zest for living in one pinkie than I do in my whole giant sized adult comments here please. She loves to climb anything and everything, walls, furniture, fences, cars. She also falls quite frequently but only one fall has resulted in an ER visit and a normal CT scan....thankfully. She turns 6 next week and feels that she now qualifies as a "growd up"...She enjoys dressing up and is always changing her clothes. I almost feel counter productive when I get her dressed in the am since within 45 min, she will wearing something out of the dress-ups. She loves high heels, a true mommy trait, and prefers to wear small flowy skimpy outfits, a true daddy trait. I have to contently tell her the what she is wearing in immodest and showing things best left covered. Her latest remark to that was, and please prepare yourself, "Mom, its OK to show stuff when your just playing dress up!" I aged 40 years with that comment. I quickly found a happy place within myself and found I could not say anything to her as she had already gone back to playing and looking for more jewels and shoes and purses. It will be a major shock to her when she starts kinder in August and she has to stay dressed in one outfit for 8 hours!!!!! Can you say Adjustment time!! We put her in soccer and lets just say its a good thing they dont give red cards in the 6 and division...She is a TRUE competitor and has no problems getting the ball, even if it means shoving the other girl from behind while running, or attempting to clothesline someone for the same purpose....."Coach said to get the ball!!!" LOVE IT!!!

I thank you staying awake for this epic adventure and hope you will tune in again. I will try to update more frequently this time....maybe every six months this year!!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The World According to Darby

I have decided to try and post daily all the great words of advise adn wisdom that I recieve from my dear 4 year old. I think that she hopes that one day , something will actually stick with me....

Friday, Feb. 27th -
Darby - Mom, I wish I could have a cat.
Mom - Well honey, you cant.
Darby - I know you are lergic, but you could move out and then I could get a cat...
Mom - Well, honey, you might be sad if I move out...
Darby - No, I will get a cat.
Mom - I wont be able to visit you.
Darby - So???

As this conversaion is going on, poor Neely in the back of the car starts to cry. I ask what is wrong and she replies, "I really Really want a cat too...." as she trails of sobbing. I am feeling a bit replaceable right now till Max chimes in and say, "Mom is not moving out!" I feel redeemed! Till he says, "Who would do the laundry?"

Sunday, March 1st
Darby - Mom, I like it when Todd licks his bum.
Mom - Darby ! Thaat is soo disgusting! Why would you say things like that?
Darby - He likes it!
Mom - What would you do if Todd licked you right after he licked his bum?
Darby - Mom, I would ask him to only lick Max! If I was a mommy, Todd could always lickhis bum!

Monday, March 2nd
When I picked Darby up from school, I asked her what she learned today. She stared at me blankly, so I tried to prompt her about what I tought they were talking about that day, which was water transportation.
Mom - Did you learn about boats and water?
Darby - Yes, and how to move on the water.
Mom - What else did you learn?
Darby - About surfboards, and you can't walk on it, but you can grab a dolphin if you need to.....

I get so happy when she tells me things like that. It shows her imagination just growing and growing.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sometimes I feel like all I do is go, go , and go some more. To school, to the store, run errands, to practice, well, you get the picture. Some days it goes good and other days it can go horribly wrong. Today I received an email from a very very very dear friend that made me stop and think for a moment. Hopefull I will be able to paste it in for you to read. It touched me and made me think towards the future which is already here it seems. I hope you enjoy it.

> Invisible Mom >
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously, not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible! The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.' I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated suma cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.' In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
--No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
--These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
--They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
--The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything..
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.' I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place . It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. Rather, it is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to > sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don't want my daughter or son to tell the friends they are bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want them to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to their friends, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two years ago for Mother's Day, my hubby got me a wonderful gift. Probably the best gift he has ever given me, besides the kids, and on Friday, I FINALLY received it. It was a portrait of my kids. It could be a pencil sketch, a terra cota sketch an oil painting or a watercolor painting. After a VERY long and "fun" family photo shoot, we, the artist and I, decided on the pose and the medium for my gift. This was back in December of "07. I was hoping to get my painting in January of "08, but......Anyway, as you can see, it was well worth the wait. She managed to capture the kids individual personality in a few "simple" brushstrokes. Max, my big strong and HANDSOME 12 year old! I can 't believe how fast the time has gone! (tearful pause...) Neely, my bit of heaven on earth, so thoughtful and serene. (most of the time...) And Darby, what can I say! The painting says it all! "I know something you don't know....." the glimmer of mischief and the absolutely kissable face! Receiving this put so much of my life in a well needed perspective. My kids are happy, healthy, fun loving, precious nuggets of love! they may drive my crazy, but they are all mine. I love them so much sometimes it hurts to think that they are growing up and making their own life. Im not so sure Im ready. But I now have this treasured piece of time to look at and to keep me humble and grounded.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The New and Improved...well, New anyway, Benson Blog site!

Well, here it is. My very own Blog. I'v always wanted a blog. I just love to blog and blog and blog. Actually, I didn't have a clue as to what a blog was untill recently and so here is my atempt at the blog. I hope you enjoy this little bit of me. I know I will.

My Angels

My Angels
watercolor portrait of kids by artist Wendy Pond

Max age 11

Max age 11

Neens age 6

Neens  age 6

Darbs age 4

Darbs age 4