Who writes this stuff?

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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Monday, June 29, 2009

Toilet paper

Today Zion unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper - just because.

It really is much funnier in the comics, and in cartoons.
In real life, it is just annoying... in case anyone was wondering.

It is especially annoying for someone who's nickname in college was "Captain Planet" - which means I am incapable of just gathering it up and throwing it away.
No, I carefully and neatly rolled the entire thing back up.

I thought about punishing Zion by making him use that roll, and that roll only for the next little while, but after a moment of actually thinking, I realized that since I am the one who has to actually wipe his little tooshie, that really wasn't much of a punishment.

Guess what his punishment was...

By the time I rolled up the whole roll, it was time for me to get in the shower, and by the time I got out of the shower, I had to get ready to run out the door for book club. I didn't even remember it until I got home after book club, sat down to pee, and reached over for some toilet paper, only to find the not quite rolled, slightly squashed paper.
Zion had already been in bed for two hours... too late for discipline at that point!

No wonder he is a little booger!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


As most of you know, I grew up with three sisters.
We were a house full of girls, and quite content that way. We proudly compared ourselves to "Little Women", "Pride and Prejudice", "Sense and Sensibility" and "Little House on the Prairie" - although Kelsey was never very happy with any of those examples, since "she" as the third child usually doesn't have a well presented character. We usually did some pick and choose until we wrote the story we wanted for our lives. I'll let you know how that story ends, but I am holding out hope that the ending is still quite far in the future.
We were thrilled to be the four of us - we played together, and sang together, prayed together and dreamed together. Of course, we fought each other also - but more importantly, we fought WITH each other against anyone who dared to hurt one of "our own".

Then, I broke my sister's hearts.

I grew up.

I didn't plan it. I certainly didn't mean to be the oldest - I was just born that way! Like Meg in Little Women, I had to go and change everything, messing up what seemed to be a perfect little world. I left home, went to college. And suddenly, BOYS became a part of our previously all female world. (of course, we had dad... and he was always male... but dad's just don't count!)
It's not that we hadn't had any male friends. Even a little dating. But there were no exclusive "boyfriends" until I went away to college. Then, my senior year, I had the audacity to fall in love and add a brother to the family.

I am pretty sure they learned to love him!

He brought with him another brother. Suddenly, I had a brother too.

Josh was just a kid when I stole his big brother.

Today he turned 24, and I must say I am very proud of the man he has become. He recently joined the Army, and is working hard, training to become a linguist.

He is a wonderful uncle - the boys love it when he come into town!

When Emilee added a brother to the family just two years after Andy and I married, I was ready. In fact, I was waiting, with the camera in hand, when Kevin proposed.

He learned early that keeping the big sister in the loop is a good idea! This picture was taken just a few minutes after the proposal, but I think it shows the real Kevin - always prepared, with all his camera gear neatly stowed, and prepared. He is always organized and ready!

I think that Emilee and Kevin are a perfect pair - they compliment each other nicely!

I love this picture of Kevin and Canaan at the petting zoo - both looking different directions.

Last year Travis joined the family, and brought a brother and sister (as well as her husband and two children) into the family too.

The more the merrier! I have known Heidi since we were in middle school - so joining our families together has been ideal. Making the connection even stronger, Andy went to highschool with Heidi's husband (the one kissing Travis in the picture above)

My last little brother is Todd. He is the kid brother that just sort of "is". One day he just started hanging around - house full of girls, that just happens sometimes. Usually, when it becomes apparent that none of the Binkley girls are "available", random boys just move on.
But Todd wasn't like that.
We all fell in love with Todd, and I guess he fell in love with all of us too.

Now we claim him as ours. He has been stationed in Korea for the last two years, and is headed to Germany next, so when he is home on leave, we grab up every minute we can get!

I have a lot of brothers now. Each of them different. They tease, and taunt - sometimes making me think they are still 12 years old.
They can do cool things like change the oil or jump start the battery in my car - "guy stuff".

Each of them has invested time in my children while my Andy is gone - spending a few extra minutes with my boys, giving them some "man time".

I have no doubt that any of my brothers would protect me and my family.

After 22 years of sisters only, I am so glad to have spent the last 8 years adding brothers to the family.
Thanks guys!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Animals, water and children - perfect combo!

After several trips to the Atlanta Zoo lately, we decided it was time for a change of pace. The Chattanooga Zoo offers $1 admission on Wednesday, and several friends of ours were wanting to take an adventure afternoon also, so we decided to all spend the morning (and afternoon) together.

First, our group next to the giant Chimp.

The petting area was very fun!

After I had been petting the camel for 2 or 3 minutes the zoo attendant came over and said "You probably shouldn't pet him. He bites!" Well, thanks...

The classic "silly shot".

After the zoo, we went to Coolidge Park, had a picnic lunch then devoted ourselves to some serious play time.

The animals shoot water out of their mouths - Zion LOVED that!

Canaan loved the whole thing!

Very wet, tired, and happy children.

Last, but not least, I am adding some pictures of my other anniversary present. Carrie said I should show them off, and it didn't take much encouragement to talk me into it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

8 years!

This picture was taken 8 years and one day ago.
I think that Andy looks like he might be scared out of his mind.... but still smiling - laughing even. That makes me feel good, knowing that he loved me so much, even then, that no matter how scared his 21 year old self was, he was going to "seal the deal".
We practiced that handshake, just for fun, to remind ourselves and everyone watching that we were making a bargain and shaking on it. Plus, my Dad had already vetoed any kissing!

Every year I say it, and every year it is true: I love you, Andrew Ian, more now then I did before. I don't know how, because right at this moment I can't imagine how it would be possible for there to be more. But somehow, through the moments that hurt, and the laughter that knocks me down - through the discipline of our children and the adorable "can I get away with this" looks (which are the exact replica of you) that they give me - through the waiting and worrying and wondering what comes next then being reminded by your gentle faith that we can only take one day at a time - through all of that, somehow every year, every day, every moment I learn to love you more.

Now, for those of you who might be reading still - Let me tell you what my amazing husband gave me for our anniversary.
When he asked what I wanted a few weeks ago I told him that all I wanted was words. I was not trying to be difficult - truly, since all I want is for him to come home, I thought it might just be nice to have him send me a romantic letter, tell me I am beautiful and that he loves me. Classic "girl stuff". He just rolled his eyes and asked what I really wanted.
He really isn't big on sending letters - he Skypes me almost every day, so I hear from him often, but I really did want a letter. Something I could hold onto, and read over and over again when I was missing him.

He did WAY better then that. It turns out that he has been working on a secret project for some time. My 6 ft, 190lb, plane mechanic, weight lifting, truck driving, AF hunk of a man has been writing me poetry while he has been deployed.
Really good poetry - Some of it sweet. Some of it emotional. Some of it down right sexy.

It came in the mail yesterday. Let me share a little with you, if I may:

The Blossom
Like a blossom is to a rose,
I am your thorn.
I protect and keep you so you
remain untouched and unscathed.
You compliment my edge with
your royal beauty.
Overshadowed, I am overjoyed
Your blossom radiates, bringing
others to enjoy your presence.
Being your thorn is my honor!

This one is a silly one, but I think it shows how very well my love knows me!

My Friend
My friend reads up, and then reads down
She'll read in jeans or a flannel night gown
She'll read when she's tired, or even when she's sick
She says "every other word" is how you do the trick.
Children are very fond of her, and she likes to read their stages,
And if we didn't have new books,
She'd read the Yellow Pages!

Above is pictured what we have accomplished in eight years. Wonder what the next eight will bring? I sure can't wait to find out!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Rambling note about everything

A quiet moment, before the partying started

Wow - what a weekend!
I suppose emotions and family often get muddled up and confused. When you are with family you are feeling free and unfettered, and more likely to "open mouth, insert foot" - not that I need much help with that anyway. I tend to say what I think most the time, no matter who I am around.
It's just that most the time my family agrees with me, so I don't have to worry about what I say. I seem to have misplaced, just for a moment or two, my ability to remember that extended family is not precisely the same - and may not think exactly the same.
I made a cousin cry.
I don't think I was mean. I wouldn't even say that I disagreed with her. I simply was not excited for her, and I should have been. I should have celebrated with her, rather then cautioned her.
Caution has it's place - and I can't take back the caution that I gave, because I believe what I said - but I was so very wrong in my timing. Celebration comes first, because when someone you love is excited it is so very important to be excited with them.
So, my apologies my sweet cousin - Truly, I am excited for you, WITH you.
And that is only confession numero uno for this trip....

The above mentioned cousin was from my mom's side of the family... just a short little visit, since they just happen to live close to where we were. We were in Indiana for the express reason of celebrating my paternal grandmother's birthday.

I have so much I want to say, but, alas, it really doesn't need to be aired out on the world wide web.
I guess I can sum it up by saying that Divorce Sucks.
And I don't ever cuss, so you know I feel very strongly when I say that.

But, the birthday party was wonderful.

All six cousins, plus the two second cousins were all there for a photo op. It has been 8 years since we were last together - but I think the "lining up in height order" had only changed for the youngest - she moved from smallest to somewhere in the middle. Everyone else kept their placement...

We also have a thing for feet... don't ask... we don't know why.
Grandma had asked the four of us sisters to sing for her as her birthday gift. She actually teared up as we sang - and she is not the type to cry. That made us exceedingly happy! Why is it that someone else crying makes us full of joy?

I guess because it was just what we needed, to know that she was pleased.

I love that you can see her head in the corner of this picture...

The Binkley brothers (and their parents too!)

Grandma with my silly boys - the only great grandchildren!

Grandma and my silly sisters

Two of my handsome brothers-in-law

Now, don't these two look happy, and content, and peaceful?

Who would know that just 24 hours earlier they had been robbed?

Spending an hour at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY turned into several hours, and a lot of police paperwork. I am so proud of how cheerfully they handled themselves through that entire situation...

This is my cousin Maggie and her boyfriend Clay.
(sorry about the sideways photo - but it is late, and I cannot get it to turn. I am tired and I give up!)
After the party we went back to her mom's house and spent several hours sitting by the pool, having a deep and meaningful debate about religion.
Yes, I am deadly serious.
I am pretty sure we were still friends when we parted, although we definitely had to agree to disagree. He very much reminded me of my first boyfriend - so desperately seeking, wanting to find peace, but wanting even more to be in control. He wants to be the one in charge - admitting sin, and the inability to earn anything on his own, having to depend on Jesus - I believe those thoughts were overwhelming to him. I couldn't help but like him. He was a smart and kind young man - but I do worry what his way of thinking will do to my Catholic cousin's way of thinking. Those two thought paths really don't converge well....

Poor Andy had to hear quite a bit during this trip - and talk me through several emotional "trips" - upsetting a cousin (which he soundly chastised me for, since he happened to disagree with me anyway...), stressing over the awkwardness of "blended family" moments, tears shared with another cousin. There was a moment of missing him (Andy) so dreadfully when I realized that Clay probably would have appreciated hearing some of these thoughts about humbling himself before God from a man. Don't get me wrong - I miss Andy every minute of every day - truly, you can't even imagine how many minutes I spend missing him, when I should be doing something else - but at that moment I missed him simply because he was a male that I know without a doubt was not afraid to say what he believed.
To finish off the weekend, I went to the early Mass with my Aunt Beth before we headed out of town. Canaan came too, and thankfully behaved himself. I don't think he has ever sat through a service, since we have always attended churches that have a separate children's program - but there was something slightly inspiring about watching all the little ones stand, and kneel, and recite at the right moments.
I very much enjoyed the beauty of the honor and prestige given during even the casual Father's day Mass I attended. I might not agree with all the doctrine, but there is a lot of beauty in Catholicism. I believe that when God is honored, He is pleased - and for tonight, that is enough for me!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A preview...

My family spent the weekend in Indiana, celebrating my grandmother's birthday. I have been instructed to photo-shop Andy into the picture... since who know when we will get the whole crew together and looking so good again!

It was the first time in 6 years that the six of us cousins had all been together at the same time.
I am sure there are better pictures, and tomorrow I will work on finding them, but I wanted to show this wonderful picture of laughter.
This trip was very full of emotion - both positive and negative. You can't help but have some of both when you get a group of people that large together... but I am going to focus on the positive ones right now, curl up with a good book, and go to sleep.
Even though it doesn't seem like it should be, spending the entire day in the car is exhausting!
I am going to take a night to recharge - then, do I have some stories to tell!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The first game of the season

Canaan had his first T-ball game on Tuesday night. It was Priceless.
They started with prayer, both teams joining hands and lifting up our Savior.

For some reason this picture, with me standing outside the fence looking in, seems very fitting. My little baby is all grown up, playing his first sport - I feel slightly separated.

Canaan did a wonderful job (of course!) Mostly the game was amusing. You can read a really cute write up about it at Carrie's blog. I am too tired, both physically and emotionally, to write tonight.