Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tara Benson, Ed.S. :)

Yesterday, I completed classes for my Educational Specialist degree through Lincoln Memorial University. After getting my master's I knew I wanted to do this and I am so glad I did and even MORE GLAD I'm finished! I think this may be my third and FINAL degree! I'm tired of being the student and ready to just be the teacher!

Here is a picture of my cooperative group that I worked with throughout the program.

Mom and the girls...Josie wasn't really into the photo session :)

Fun On PaPaw's Tractor

A while back my dad started attaching the little red wagon to the lawn mower and riding the grandkids around the yard. For Father's Day, we got him a hitch (or whatever it's called) to go on the back of it. The kids LOVE to go to MiMi and PaPaw's house and ride on the lawn mower. I'm not sure if you can get anymore redneck, but they are making wonderful memories at MiMi and PaPaw's house.

Lake Winnie

Kim came into town last week and MiMi and PaPaw took the kids to Lake Winnie. I was busy riding and didn't take many pictures, but here are a few of what I got.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Girls Night to Huntsville

My cousin, Jill, invited me on a trip to Hunstville. Her husband surprised her with a night in the Westin and movie tickets to see Eclipse. Jill is my cousin and she was my roommate in college. She has always been one of my closest friends. It has been a while since we have been able to spend time together, but we always have so much fun! It was a nice girl's getaway with a lot of laughter! Thanks Robert for the night away!!

Anna Grace Goes to Fall Crek Falls Bible Camp

This year was Anna Grace's first year to attend Fall Creek Falls Bible Camp. It was junior week and only 10-13 year olds will be there. It is a wonderful way for the kids to grow closer to each other and closer to God. For the record, this was NOT my idea. It was hers. She came to us and told us she wanted to go and even though I wasn't crazy about the idea, Clint called and got her in. Several of the kids from church go every year and they come back fine, but still...she's only 10 years old! Isn't that too young to take your child and just drop them off in the middle of nowhere for a WHOLE WEEK?? Well, she went...and we are so proud of her! Even though it was torture on all of us back home, she informed me today when she got home that she didn't miss us. That hurts. :( We are so proud of her for staying all week and making some new friends! So I guess this may be a new summer activity for the Benson Family. We took a few pics of her when we dropped her off. She kept asking us why we were still there. Why can't they stay little forever?

Nashville Rising Concert

We surprised the girls with Nashville Rishing tickets. This is a concert to benefit the rebuilding of Nashville after the flood. I saw where Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift were going to be there along with several other artists including Lynard Skynard, ZZ Top, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Billy Ray Cyrus, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Leann Rimes, Micheal W. Smith, Amy Grant, and Sandra Bullock made a special appearance. I called Clint and he agreed that they would enjoy it and gave me permission to buy the cheap seats. We didn't tell them where we were going and it was funny listening to them trying to figure it out. They were so excited when they found out about Miley! It was a great night and we made wonderful memories!

Waiting for the show to begin...

A family shot after the show...

Brinlee's face when they announced Miley...PRICELESS!!

Brinlee and AnnaGrace with Elvis

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Goodbye to a Special Woman

Clint's grandmother, Flossie Carroll, passed away last week. She was a wonderful Christian lady and she will be greatly missed. We went down for the funeral last week and we were able to see most of Clint's mom's family while we were there. While it was a sad time it was also a time to celebrate her Christian life. We were blessed to have such a precious woman in our lives.

This picture was taken in February 2009 when we went by to visit Grandmother on our way to Disney World. It was Valentine's Day and she had a special Valentine's treat for the girls.

Here are some of the family pictures that we took while we were there last week.
The Carroll Family

The Carroll Grandkids

The Carroll Great Grandkids

The Benson Clan

Nicaragua Medical Mission Part 2

My first post got a little long. Can you tell I am excited about this trip?? Here are pictures of a few things that went on that were separate from the medical clinic.

Every night we walked over to the church a few blocks away from the clinic. The church was down a dirt road and it was very dark when we got out at night. There are many stories that I can tell about the walks that we took down this dirt road, but the most memorable one is the night I lost my flip flops. One night while we were in church it started to rain harder and harder and it never let up. Well, on the way to the bus we had to walk through knee high water and I was in FLIP FLOPS, which was not good! I lost both of them in the gushing water as I was walking. I had to walk through rocks, mud, and thorns all the way to the bus. It was not fun, although everyone else got a good laugh out of it. The next day my wonderful Croc flip flops were recovered from the mud! Anyways, here are a few pictures from the church services. Each night we had a children's bible class and a teen bible class.

I taught bible class on Tuesday night. I was given the story of Lazarus. Here are my wonderful helpers acting out the story as I tell it. The kids loved it, even though it started to rain about halfway through.

And Lazarus arose from the dead!

Here are a couple of pictures from the church.

Here are a few pictures that were taken around the community we were working in.

This is the bus that we rode in all week. I am grateful to be alive after experiencing the bumping, jerking, high speed trips that I had in this bus. I saw my life flash before my eyes many times during the week.

On Friday, we got to go out and have fun. After some convincing, I talked Abigail into going ziplining with me. I have never been and I knew this is something that Clint would NEVER do with me so I was looking forward to it. Well...I was excited about it until we got on the first platform and the bottom fell out and it rained the whole time we were up there. The rain never slowed down and the wind was blowing. We were freezing, but it was still a blast!

This was a trip of a lifetime and I am so thankful that I was able to go. Seeing the people down there and how little they have, but they are so thankful and appreciative for every little thing makes you look at the world in a whole new way.

Nicaragua Medical Mission 2010

East Ridge has so many things to offer our family including a wonderful preacher, involved and caring elders, families our age, tons of children, and opportunities in mission work. Every year we listen to people come back from their mission work and describe how their lives have changed. Well this year I got to experience this for myself. I was blessed enough to be able to go on our medical mission. There were 85 people total and around 25 from East Ridge that went on the mission. It was definately a life changing experience.

Here is a walk through the clinic that we had set up. This is what the line was like all four days that we were there. These people waited for hours to get into the clinic in the heat and rain. It got a little crazy at times with people trying to pass in line. Nothing can prepare you for this. It made me stop and thank the good Lord for being able to walk into an air conditioned doctor's office that I am in and out of within an hour. Yet, these precious people were so thankful to get to come in and be treated and it didn't matter to them how long they had to wait.

The first step was to register. These four young people are all fluent in Spanish. They were excellent!

I worked in triage which is a fancy word for weighing patients, taking their temperature and blood pressure. I weighed every patient that came into the clinic that week, but not alone...this was my weighing partner, Ben.

This is the whole triage team after a long day in the clinic.

The BEST part of that job was that I got to hold every baby that came in! They were the most beautiful babies with their dark hair and dark eyes. PRECIOUS!

After the patients came through triage, they waited to be seen by the doctor or one of the many nurses that came with us.

There was also a dentist on site who performed extractions.

The patients went through a hygiene class.

If needed, the patients were given a pair of eyeglasses.

Here is a picture of the pharmacy. You would be amazed at the medicine they had in here. It was just like a real pharmacy.

The last station was benevolence. Each person was given three outfits, shoes, rice and beans.

Here are the statistics from our trip...

Bible Studies 211
Baptisms 23
Patients 2164
Registrations 2207
Dental Patients 208
Extractions 147
Pharmacy Patients 2175
Prescriptions 7989
Eyeglasses filled 522
Head Scrubs 52
Benevolence 2259
Children’s Classes 199
Teen Classes 45

God is good!