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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday, Connor!

Today is Connor's 5th birthday. Time has gone by so fast and now he's going to be ready for Kindergarten in a few months. I thought I'd share just a little about what a sweet boy he's grown to be.

First of all, for all those who know him, you know how extremely shy and quiet he is. He didn't start talking until he was 3 and even then it was so quietly mumbled that he would have to repeat himself over and over. Well, the day that Brooke went to school is the day he really found his voice...surprise, surprise! And he is getting more bold the older he gets. I hear him bossing his brother now on a regular basis. I guess "giving direction" would be a nicer way to say it.

Connor is such a gentle and sweet child and he is so easy to love. There are several little girls at church who can attest to this fact :) He is quite popular with the opposite sex and that is true from the 3 year olds on up to the teenage girls. They just adore him!! He has the most infections laugh and the most beautiful, twinkly blue eyes! He truly is a heart breaker!!

Connor loves playing ball with his daddy and he is quite good at baseball. Watch out Little League because that boy can hit a ball! I think he is going to take after his dad in this area. Connor also loves art. He loves to color and paint and draw. He has taught himself how to write his letters and numbers. I wrote the letters for him to look at and then he practiced until he could write it to his own satisfaction. He was quite hard on himself and he would often get frustrated with his attempts but he never gives up easily. He persevered until he got it right. Connor says he wants to grow up to be an artist like Uncle "BB" - Randy.

We have been so blessed to have Connor in our family. We look forward to another year as we watch him grow and change. We are excited to see what God has in store for our second born. Our world is a brighter place because of Connor Luke Benson.

A Morning at the Spa

As usual, I have a couple posts for today. Annoying, I know.

Anyway, this morning Brooke wanted to plan something special. This is nothing out of the ordinary as she always wants to plan something. She came down to my room and asked me for one of my favorite "chapter" books. Being that she is now reading I asked her if she was wanting to read one of my books. She told me, "No", that it was a surprise and that I just needed to come up to her room. She also wanted her Daddy's Bible. I told her I would come up after I got dressed. So, a little while later I went up only to find Dale and Connor sitting on the side of her bathtub with their feet soaking in a warm bath. Brooke was providing spa services - back rubs - while the boys were soaking their feet. There was Dale with his favorite book, the Bible and she had my book, Twilight, all ready and waiting for my spa experience. It was the cutest and funniest thing. I wish I had taken a picture but I was too busy soaking me feet.

Friday, January 30, 2009


And the final post for today...I think.

Last night as I was finishing up some work I heard all 3 kiddies in the kitchen messing around. The water was running and dishes were clanking so I thought maybe Brooke was washing dishes as she likes to do (I'm sure this will not last). I was getting ready to start dinner just as Brooke ran up to tell me she had a surprise. So, I had to close my eyes (kind of) while walking down two sets of stairs and through toys strewn on the floor (just house is always perfect..okay just kidding) as Brooke led me to the kitchen.

I opened my eyes and to my wonderment my children had prepared dinner for the family. Never mind that my dinner was cooking in the crock pot. I must say that I was quite proud of my children for the dinner they came up with.

Here's what was on the menu...

Chocolate Chip Pancakes: leftovers from the day before - my children have learned the importantce of the old adage - "Waste not, want not."

A bowl of nuts: protein - a lot of protein actually.

Carrots and ranch dressing: veggie

Cheetos: fat

A beautifully made dessert which consisted of two gogurts in a bowl, peanut butter Oreos (from before Christmas) and some sort of sprinkles. I have to give Brooke points for presentation even though the mix was a little, shall we say, yuck! I believe Brooke is taking after Grammy who is great at just throwing ingredients together and coming up with something yummy. Brooke just hasn't accomplished the "yummy" part yet.

I also have to say that they set the table quite well. Although I'm not quite sure why the cups were on the plates...sometimes you just have to be crazy I guess!! But, look closely and you'll see napkins on the table.

By the way, did I mention that Dale and I had dinner alone last night? I let the kids eat their little smorgasboard and Dale and I got to eat dinner alone at home which NEVER happens. Of course he had to go back out to the store after he got home because the can of cream of mushroom soup I was using was bad...bad...bad. I tasted some and believe was BAD! I can still taste it. But, let's get back to the subject at hand.

You certainly can't appreciate all this without seeing some proof so here it is...
Brooke giving some sort of instruction - as usual.

Just a picture of adorable Liam.

Toothless, crazy Brooke. I think she already had
too much sugar!

Connor - words fail me. He is so doggone cute and SWEET!!

Take a look at that overload of protein. And I know it is
hard to tell but there are Cheetos and carrots on this plate.

And finally, last but not least, look at this beautifully
designed dessert. I even think the choice of the
green bowl sets it off perfectly.

Comfy Cozy

Yes, I know....this is my 2nd post for today. Sometimes one just has to catch up on blogging when time allows. You might just get one more after never know.

But I digress. What this post is really about is the cute picture I took of Liam the other day. I was doing laundry and there happened to be an empty basket sitting around. I came into my room and there he was, all comfy cozy in the laundry basket with his pillow and my body pillow (one of my favorite things, by the way). Dale bought that for me when I was pregnant and I hardly ever used it. It wasn't until about a year ago that I really became attached to it.

But, I digress again. He was just chillin' in the basket watching cartoons so as is my habit, I grabbed my camera to take a picture. Here's my little cutie.

Happy 40th, Dale

We celebrated Dale's 40th just a couple days after we got back from Puerto Rico. Getting a party organized while I was in the midst of preparing for Christmas and trying to get ready for a 10 day trip to Puerto Rico was quite a feat. We did have a surprise party, though, at Randy and Judy's and it really was alot of fun. The surprise kind of fizzled though as we drove up and he saw Pastor Jeff and Michele, Brent and Daveta and a few others walking to the door. We were early so it wasn't anyone's fault but mine. What can I say - I should be patted on the back for being early for once!

Anyway, here are some pics from the party...

Alan, Micele, Nancy, Brandon loading up the plates!

Dan and Phyllis Beam

Alan and Emma - our very dear friends!

The beautiful nieces.

David Diehl and the every weird Brent.

My sweet friend, Emma.

Dale's still looking good at 40!

Pastor gave a eulogy for Dale's passing youth. It was
pretty funny.

The gaggle of kids had a great time...I think!

Dale sportin' some cool glass that I'll be borrowing the
next time I go the the eye doctor and get my
pupils dialated.

and the groovy hat from Claire Burgett.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Dear friends and family, this year I did not send out Christmas cards. It seemed like the days were rushing by too fast and I was just too busy and instead of getting stressed out about it I thought I'd just post a greeting on my blog. Besides, I can update you on our lives a little better here instead of with a Christmas card with a photo or two.

Two thousand eight has been quite an eventful year for our family. Brooke started 1st grade at Franklin Elementary School and when we arrived at her classroom open house we realized that she would have more than one teacher this year being that her teacher, Mrs. McDonald was very pregnant. We, well really I, was concerned about Brooke having such an interruption in her education. However, when the time came in the beginning of October for the interim teacher we were so blessed with a wonderful woman who has been just an amazing teacher. (It is quite interesting that Mrs. Miller, the interim, is getting her Master's degree at Trevecca.) I am blessed that I am able to be involved in Brooke's school as her Room Mom. The kids have gotten to know Dale and I as we go into the classroom to work and help out.

Brooke has grown into a tender-hearted and compassionate young lady and we are so very proud of her. She was in gymnastics in the spring and soccer in the fall and she is growing into a very athletic girl. We are just waiting for something to really spark her interest to find what sport she will stick with.

Connor has really grown and matured this year. He is such a sweet and quiet boy but he has a twinkle in his eye that lights up a room and his laugh is worth a million dollars! If you ask Connor what he wants to be when he grows up more than likely he'll tell you that he wants to be an artist like Uncle BB (Randy). We are amazed at his drawing and coloring abilities. He is so careful and precise and he can spend an hour coloring in the ear or eye of an animal! Connor has also taught himself to write his ABCs. He asked me to write them down for him and he quite frequently we'll find him practicing his writing. Connor will start kindergarten this fall and I'm already feeling very anxious and sad about letting him go! Maybe he should wait until he's six?!? :) Connor also played soccer this fall and I volunteered Dale to be his coach. Dale did such a wonderful job with the boys and it was so much fun watching him teach Connor a sport.

Liam just turned three in November and he has more energy than the rest of the family combined! Liam has the bulk of the personality in our family as well! He is a little clown and is just adorable all the way around - even when he is being naughty. He has always had quite the vocabulary and he expresses himself so well. We always get a good chuckle when we talk to him. Liam and Connor are such great playmates while Sissie is at school. Pretty soon he'll be my only one at home.

I am realizing that my children are just growing up too fast! Not long ago it seemed like they'd all be home with me forever, but such is not the case as many as you know. I am reminded every day that this season of my life truly is fleeting and that I need to treasure and savor all the "every-day" moments because all too soon this will be gone.

Dale has been busy this year but that is nothing new! The church is flourishing and we are so blessed to be on staff with such wonderful friends and co-pastors. We leave tomorrow night with our youth group for a 10 day work and witness trip to Puerto Rico. We are going with Pastor JP and Traci to help with the Nazarene church in Caguas. We are quite excited for this opportunity to get to know the youth better since we don't really get to be around them that much. I, however, am a little anxious about leaving my children for that long! Dale's parents will be here for a couple days and then Grammy will be here for the remainder of the time and so the kids are sure to have a wonderful time!

Our next big trip is in February when we go to Israel for almost two weeks. Dale and I are truly blessed that we get to go on this trip for a 2nd time. The first time we went was in our first year of marriage and it was a completely overwhelming experience. I am hoping to soak in even more than I did the last time. Thankfully, I have a much better camera with which to document the whole experience. Pastor Henecke and Dale are leading this trip and I am so excited that my mom, Judy (my sister-in-law), and Jen Jones (my good friend) will all be going! Once again, I'm a little anxious about leaving the children for that long but I know that they will be in the care of the Heavenly Father.

Well, as for me, it seems that the end of the year has really cranked up my busyness meter! This fall I decided it was time to prepare for the time when my husband would boot me back into the workforce (once Liam was in Kindergarten). I know that is several years down the road but I decided if I didn't want to go job hunting I better find something that I really enjoy doing and start doing it soon so that by the time Liam was in school I'd be making enough money to justify working from home. Since I love scrapbooking and graphic design I decided that I would start my own album design business. So, I set up a website and I have done a couple albums for people. More exciting than that though is that I was contacted by (the website from which I taught myself to use Photoshop to do digital scrapbooking) asking me to teach some online courses for them. I have been feverishly preparing curriculum for a 4 week class that I'll be teaching once a month (or more) beginning in March once all my travels are through! I am continually amazed at God's goodness towards me. I have prayed about finding work I could do at home (and work that I would enjoy) and I believe this is a blessing from God!

In additional to my personal work I am still leading our MOMents group at church which is the group for moms of preschoolers. I am so blessed to be able to work with wonderful ladies who inspire me to be a better mom than I am. We all are able to share in our motherhood journeys and we are a source of encouragement to each other.

Well, as you can see, 2009 promises to be an exciting and full year! We pray that God will be glorified through our lives and that we will continue to grow as a family in his goodness and grace. Our prayer for you, our family and friends, is that God will bless your homes and that whatever this year may bring that you will feel God's presence in your lives.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dale, Amy, Brooke, Connor and Liam

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

510 Kids' Christmas Play

Brooke was in the elementary Christmas program this year. She played the part of Mary, sang a solo and had a choreography part. She was a busy little girl! I thought I'd share a few pictures with you.