Monday, July 30, 2007

The first sentence

On the way to drop M off at her "school" she said her first real sentence:

M: Mer-eet go koooool now.
Me: What did you say? (as I got whiplash looking over my shoulder)
M: Mer-eet go koooool now.
Me: Did you just say "Meryt goes to school now?"
M: *laughs and claps hands* YES! *laughs*

Made the teacher in this mommy proud.

A few things

Top news this morning:
Teacher go back to work
Gas prices dropped $0.17 in the past two weeks.

No lie. Those are the top news stories on our local news show this morning.

It's 6:54. I'm going to wake M up in a minute to start our new school year. Wow.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I'll brush your teeth if you'll brush mine

Blogger moms, I need parenting help. HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU BRUSH A TODDLER'S TEETH? Sometimes, it's a breeze. Tonight was a major battle of the wills. I finally told M that I would let her brush my teeth if she let me brush hers. Other than some major gagging on my part, that worked well tonight. Do you have any suggestions at all? I overheard a pediatric dental hygienist once say, "How hard can it be? You're the mother!" She's never seen my kid clamp her jaws shut so tight that I can't pry them open.

PS: I'm not choking my kid. She's so lightweight that she sways when I brush back and forth. I keep my hand on her shoulder to keep her steady. I never realized I put my thumb across her neck!

PS AGAIN: PLEASE go visit Slurping Life. Midnight tonight is the end of Love for Parker. You can check out Praying for Parker ( to see all his medical needs. He's got a pretty major medical-team conference coming up, as well as a hospital stay. Tammy needs some serious mom support right now.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Homework Karma

Bless you, my blogger friends. You have sent good homework Karma my way and I am incredibly indebted to you. I have finished SO much homework today!! YAHOO!!!

Below are some poems for class. I'm no poet, but I'm not incredibly disappointed with them. They'll do.

A Girl (poem for class)

A Girl

My heart was thunder in my ears.
The jelly cold on my pregnant belly.
The unyielding pressure from the wand just a bit uncomfortable.
Dwayne joked with the technician.
“What do you think it is?” she asked.
“A boy.” I said confidently. “Gable.”
“Well, it’s a…” the pause lasted an eternity.
My breath caught somewhere between my mouth and my diaphragm,
unable to escape.
Shock and joy flooded my entire being.
Tears of absolute and complete delight covered my cheeks.
“A girl,” I whispered, “Meryt Sherrill.”

Dreams for You (poem for class)

Dreams for You

My dreams for a daughter
Differ from those for a son.

You, my beautiful, independent footstomper,
I dream for you dreams so different from my own:

A love for Jesus Christ that grows every day.
A yearning to study The Word,
to hide It in your heart.
Real friends and real loves
with real fights and real fun.
A path that winds but is not rough
and difficult choices well made.
A life that was well lived.

These, my darling girl, are my dreams for you.

Green Knight (another poem for class)

Green Knight

Pep rallies around the fountain.
Girls shivering and cheering.
Hair dye in the shower. Wrong color.
More hair dye in the shower.
Chunky Monkey Ice Cream.
Strong coffee between dusk and dawn.
All night painting.
Marathon naps, some longer than a night’s sleep.
Spirit cheers.
Doors banging.
Secrets shared in the darkest hours of night.
College memories.

Perfection (Poem for my class)


Five tiny fingers on two hands
Glittering ring of love
Warm spots vacated by the family dog
Lasagna, covered in melted cheese, fresh from the oven
The compassionate voice of Mom

Wrinkled sheets that smell of sleep
Steamy bathrooms
Vanilla jasmine tea, hot
light on the sugar

Old buildings, new businesses
Late night movies
Snuggles on the couch
Toddler giggles and pink hair bows

Carpet warmed by sunshine
Whine of the dishwasher
Starbuck's Raspberry Mocha
Crunchy autumn leaves

Sovereignty of God
Love of Christ

Thursday, July 26, 2007

No pictures....send homework karma


As you can see, no pictures. My poor little camera cries when I walk past. It cries and begs to be unloaded. It's tired of fishy pictures swimming on the memory card. Tired of M's sticky fingers from her first sucker. Tired of seeing the same cards. But, must cry one more day.

I STILL HAVE STUPID HOMEWORK TO DO. It's 9:54 and I'm just now settling down for some homework. PLEASE SEND ME SOME HOMEWORK KARMA. I know why I've procrastinated so bad this time: once this weekend is over, work resumes.

During your free time, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE go Love on some cute Parky. He and Tammy are in some serious need of some bloggy lovin'. Make a donation. We can all spare $2. If we all gave a little, Parker would be so happy. Visit Melody at Slurping Life.

See ya on the upside of Sunday. I'll be busy this weekend and doubt I'll get the pictures up for you.

Harry, the love of my life

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Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?

Since this is the last of the Potter series, I'm really trying hard to take my time and enjoy every word. I'm only allowing myself a few minutes each day to spend curled up with Harry. People, this is GOOD stuff. My friend Colleen had this button on her blog, so I followed it. While I wish I was smart enough to hang with Harry in Gryffindor, I'm proud to be loyal, dependable, and hardworking.

Now I must go work hard on my homework and finishing the projects for my guests this evening. Check back later. I'm posting pictures.

Check out Slurping Life and give a little Love for Parker.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Love for Parker

Love for Parker

Love for Parker

My best blog friend, Melody of Slurping Life ( is hosting a great fundraiser for a special little boy named Parker. Parker's mom is AMAZING. Her name is Tammy. Tammy and her husband are raising a sweet family. Their youngest son, Parker, is medically fragile. There are gaping holes in the insurance policy for Parker, so communication is sketchy, at best, between his doctors, therapists, other medical persons who are responsible for Parker's care. As the mother of a toddler who needed a fair amount of medical care when she was an infant, my heart aches for Tammy each time I read her blog ( Tammy is so REAL about her love for her little boy and their needs. Tammy makes your heart ache with her, cry tears when she cries tears, smile right beside her when Parker pulls through.

I'm making a Stampin' Up! donation for Love for Parker. Please, please friends, if you are in a position, PLEASE make a small donation for Parker. Please commit to praying for Parker. Our Father has a special purpose for this little guy. I know, I KNOW, if we pray for him, God will hear our call. Whatever Parker's purpose, my prayer is that Parker and his family will know God's peace and constantly feel the loving hand of our Heavenly Father in every decision made by Parker's parents and his medical providers.

You can read a more eloquent description of Love for Parker by Melody.

Lots to blog about

I have so much to blog about that I don't even know where to begin!

What does one do when her she becomes disconnected from the internet?
Makes lots of cards (pictures to come)
Makes a sweet gift (picture to come...don't want to spoil the gift)
Takes her daughter to the aquarium (pictures to come)
Takes a great PhotoShop Elements class (evident by the quality of pictures to come)
Cooks dinner
Reads books

What does one NOT do when she becomes disconnected from the internet?
Her homework
Any teacher work
Clean her house

What does said person need to be doing right now?
Cleaning her house for her guests that are coming on Thursday
Planning their project
Planning their menu

I'll probably be out of the loop a lot for the next few weeks. I have master's class this weekend and then preplanning starts Monday. I have to stay late Tuesday evening for parent orientation and next Sunday is Open House for the students. Friends, that's only the tip of the iceberg of what my year will be like.

I'll be in and out. Check out Melody at Slurping Life. She's raising funds for a precious little boy named Parker. I'm donating a prize! More details to come about that.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

We're up and running again


It's 11:06 Sunday evening. We're FINALLY up and running again. I'm quite remiss in blogging responses, but am planning quite a spectacle for tomorrow. I can't wait to take some time to read about you and catch up. I've missed you!

It's good to be back.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Drop in

Hey friends,

Our computer is down. Thankfully, H ordered the part we needed last night. We should be up and running this weekend. Have lots to report. School starts in two weeks. Say a prayer that it is an easy transition for us. We've had such a great summer.

Will see you all this weekend!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Computer Down

Hello all you faithful Benson bloggers! This is a note to let you know that the Benson's motherboard crashed on their computer. I(Susie) was asked to let you all know that she will be up and running as soon as the problem is fixed! Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

VBS and a Dr's visit

This week, M and I have been very, very busy! She's been in the twos and threes VBS class with her best friends Noah and Maggie, plus a few more. She's learning Bible stories and songs. She's also been very busy making lots of cute crafts! She's so funny--each afternoon, we bring her daily craft in to the house. The next morning, she's found it (I had to start hiding them from her) and it goes right back to VBS. For some reason, she doesn't seem to understand that we keep crafts AT HOME. She's so proud of them.

I'm teaching the four year old class--my favorite age in the WHOLE WORLD. I love the wonder and excitements four year olds have for the simplest things in life. I love sharing the gospel with them and their complete faith in the truth of the Word. Each day we learn a Bible verse related to "The Race is On!" I am so fulfilled to see my little four year olds learning scripture. Their little minds are like sponges that soak up every minute detail of life around them. They can recall each day's Bible lesson and the songs, as well as their memory verses. We're raising money to buy mosquito nets for the children of a village in Bangladesh. They are so proud to bring in their coins and occasional dollar to help other children. We watch a video clip every day about a little girl named Sapla. They can't wait to learn more about her life and her village. VBS is something I look forward to each year.

Change of topic: I've had a strange thing on my neck for several years. It was a little raised area on the right side of my neck that never bothered me. My hair almost always covered it, but it wasn't very noticeable anyway. Over the weekend, it started swelling and became very tender on the bump and the surrounding area. I got sort of nervous and hesitated calling the doctor. I finally called Tuesday afternoon. Gracious doctor that I have worked me in on Wednesday in case I needed a referral to a dermatologist. The problem with the dermatologist around here is that they won't file your have to pay upfront and then file your own insurance for reimbursement! Since I certainly can't afford to do that, I knew my doctor would help make arrangements if I needed to see someone else. Thankfully, I just had a cyst that somehow got infected. He was able to drain it in his office. I won't give you all the gross details. It hurt and is sore now, but feels much better to not have a knot on my neck. I was starting to look sort of Frankenstein-ish!

So...that's the news around here. I'll be checking on all of you over the next few days. I'm waiting right now for M's Nona, OB, Uncle T, and Aunt L to arrive. Uncle T graduated from seminary in the spring. He and Aunt L are living with my parents for a few months during this life transition. We're so thankful that we'll get to see them so often. They've only met M twice--once when she was 4 months old and then at Christmas when she was 14 months old. As long as they are living in the same town with my parents, we'll be seeing them at least once a month. When I'm done with graduate school in Sept, we'll resume our once a month visit to Savannah. I'd better go...I'm procrastinating vacuuming.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Alive and kicking

Will post tomorrow about life at the Benson household. Everyone is alive and kicking.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Like mother/like daughter

It's eerie when your mother's words come out of your mouth. In my case, it's often my father's words that flow forth. It's even eerier when you see YOUR OWN DAUGHTER acting like you.

M gets the hiccups when she laughs a lot. So do I.
Her hiccups are a lot cuter than mine.

M is very, very crabby in the morning. So am I.
She's not happy until she's had her breakfast and some quiet time. It's not a nice few minutes as I struggle to figure out what she wants to eat for breakfast. And heaven forbid I give her something she did not want!

M likes to take marathon naps. So do I.
Today she went down at 12:30. It's 3:37 and she's still asleep. It's been this way all week.

M doesn't like strange textures in her food. Neither do I.
No more sneaking scrambled eggs in the grits.

These are a few examples that I've noticed in the past few days.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Eight facts/habits

I've been tagged for the 8 Things Meme that is making the rounds. My friend Kyla over at The Journey tagged me. You can catch up with Kyla and the Tar children at

The rules:
A. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.
B. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Okay, so here are eight facts or habits about me.

1.) I sleep on the left side of the bed. I sleep facing away from the edge. This means that I must roll around the bed most of the night so I can check M's monitor every time I wake up. This also means that I get stuck on the bed because the 90 lb. lab sleeps curled up in the crook of my legs and H sleeps on top of the covers. I'm surprised I don't end up black and blue after fighting my way out of my cocoon each night.

2.) I'm not a morning person at all. I'm pretty crabby until I brush my teeth and take my shower. I like to press the snooze button at least twice before getting up. Remember the whole stuck in bed issue? I have to get OUT of bed to hit the snooze button. Mornings are not a pretty sight.

3.) I wash my hair every day. Sometimes I use my own shampoo. Sometimes I use H's shampoo. Just depends on how I want my hair to smell.

4.) I get my hair cut EVERY 6 WEEKS TO THE DAY. Why? I have no idea because I don't have good hair and I don't bother to fix it at least half the time. But I love my hairdresser. I need my Gil fix, I guess. I feel like a princess for the few minutes we spend together. He'd better make me feel like a princess as much as I pay him.

5.) When I scrapbook or craft, I measure everything. EVERYTHING. When I sew, I don't measure anything.

6.) I don't drink while I eat. I like to wait until I eat all my food and then I'll have something to drink.

7.) I'm left-handed, but I don't drag my hand across the writing on a page. I'm very particular to hold my hand up so ink doesn't get smeared all over the side of my fist. I also don't "hook" my hand when I write. I write just like a right-handed person, but with my left hand. Speaking of being left-handed, the only thing I do right-handed is cut. I've never been able to use left-handed scissors, so I cut with my right hand. I'm not a very talented cutter.

8.) When I read, I become oblivious to life outside of the print on the page. H has learned that he must say my name to get my attention when I'm reading. Before M, I could devour a novel in one day. Since M, I haven't read many novels! Between graduate reading and M's reading, I just don't have much time to read for pleasure.

There are eight facts or habits about me.

Seeing how I don't have TOO many blog friends, I'm tagging anyone who reads this. Christina, Stacy,'s your turn, if you'd like to play along. You might be too busy...that's fine. If you're looking for a topic to post, try this out.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Thursday's Theme: Spectacle

Bottom of the 6th, down by 1 run, two outs. Last chance. Batter hits a double and sends one runner home. Last batter up. Beautiful pitch. Batter hits it to the fence, past many upheld gloves. Another runner comes home. VI wins the game by one run.
This, my friends, is the ultimate tale of a 4th of July. Screaming fans. Sweaty boys. Grubby baseballs. Excited faces. It doesn't get any more All-American than baseball on July 4th. What a spectacle.
For other spectacles, visit Picture This:
Oh, yes...that's my oldest nephew pitching. He's playing in the 12 and under All-Star league.

Enjoy your 4th

I always have mixed emotions on the 4th of July.

Gratitude: For the soldiers who are fighting for our freedom. For the men and women who have sacrificed so much so that I never have to know the terror of war in my backyard.

Amazement: That we live in a country where we have the freedom to do the things we most want to do. We have choices about religion, education, entertainment. I can't imagine living in a place without that freedom.

Sadness: I don't know why, but I always feel a tad bit sad on the 4th of July. It's like a shadow at the very edges of the day. Perhaps it's for the lives lost, the empty arms of mothers, families that are not together, people who don't appreciate all that is sacrificed. Today I will recognize that sadness. And I will pray for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

I will be so thankful that we live in this country: the UNITED States of America.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


I have a little confession:

I joined the gym with my friends Susie and Donna. One of the first times I worked out, Susie and I went together. Ya'll, she's amazing. She's tiny and petite and could work that elliptical machine like nothing I'd ever seen. I was a tad bit envious. Actually, I was very envious. I had lots of self-defeating talk going on in my head. She's super encouraging and told me that I'd get better. Here's the confession: I didn't believe her. I thought I'd always walk at 3.3 mph and feel like my lungs were going to explode.

Today something happened. Today, I walked 3 miles in 50 minutes. Almost the entire time, I walked at 3.7 mph. I did have to keep the motivation up by saying to myself, "Only 5 minutes, then you can back it down to 3.5." But I never had to slow it down. I was DETERMINED to walk 3 miles today to prove to myself that I could do it. AND I DID. AND MY LUNGS DID NOT EXPLODE. My face was purple and my clothes were soaking wet with sweat, but I did it. Then I did some leg weights. I hope I can walk tomorrow.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Better Late than Never--BSM

Here are two M's playing Peek-a-boo with each other. Sweet, sweet girls and sweet, sweet friends. My M is exactly 10 months younger than this M and ten months older than her baby sister, also M. Right now, she prefers the friendship of the older M, but I'm certain that the three will grow up to be the dearest friends.
For other Best Shots, check out Picture This

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Crummy Poetry

Crummy poetry might make you do some unusual things. Unkind, even.

For example:
It might make you groan under your breath in agony.

It might make you roll your usually very controllable eyes in the most uncontrollable fashion.

It might make you lift your shoulders and drop them repeatedly every time the teacher opens his mouth.

It might make you testy with your friends.

It might make your most conservative friend laugh at your not-very-conservative jokes or poems. (She might not laugh at these jokes normally.)

It might make you say things like "Well, as big a bite as that is, you should have eaten the whole thing!" even if you are one of the nicest people sitting at the table and you were speaking to a pregnant woman.

Crummy poetry might give you an agonizing headache.

PS: I am NOT referring to myself in the above situations that MIGHT have occur ed. I'm sharing things that my friends MIGHT have done and caused me to laugh, sometimes out loud, and make the weekend a tad bit bearable.

Only three more weekends (One in July, August, and September) and my friends and I will be DONE. FINISHED. COMPLETED. GRADUATED. We have worked hard and will have given up 22 weekends to have this degree. It's been a long and difficult process, but so worth it. Even if it involved crummy poetry, snap-and-clap, and lots of under-the-breath comments.