Sunday, January 15, 2012


The ridiculousness of just now posting this entry has to be pointed out. Michael's birthday was two months ago, Bennett's was one month ago. I really love having an up-to-date blog, but I think this will continue to be my life for a while. For the first time in my life, I truly understand the phrase, "There are only so many hours in a day."

Without further ado, here is the post I started about a month ago and am just now publishing. Sure do love my birthday boys!


Michael turned the big 3-0 back in November, and Bennett turned 5 in the first week of December. Craziness in this house. Absolute craziness.

It's funny how some numbers seem so much more significant than others. Both of them hit really significant milestones this year. I'm in denial that Jasper turns 3 in March, and I'll be 30 (gulp) this summer. Time flies when you're having fun, eh?

For Michael's birthday, we had giant sub sandwiches with all the fixings, double chocolate chunk cookies, and vanilla ice cream, all at the birthday boy's request. My parents came over to celebrate. For his big day, Michael said he wanted to spend quality time with each of our kiddos, so throughout the day he spent a half hour doing something fun with each one. He played the Wii with two of our girls - a dance tournament of sorts that was rather hilarious. He colored in coloring books with another of our girls, and took a long walk with our fourth. With the boys, he played golf on a stretch of land running between two of the houses on campus. My dad went out there with them and then we all took about 15 minutes to gather up all of the golf balls.

We didn't have a huge party with tons of people, we didn't do anything hugely out of the ordinary, and we didn't spend a ton of money, but that's not really Michael's style. He basks in simplicity and loves being with family above all else. So that's what we did, and he had a marvelous day, which was all that mattered to me.

Sometimes I hint at what an amazing man my husband is, but truly, truly...he's amazing. I don't say this to make others stand up and take notice. I don't say it to brag, because it has absolutely nothing to do with me. I don't say it to make others envy or wish they had better marriages or husbands, or whatever. I say it to bring him honor. He works hard at being who he is. Everything he does for our family is intentional, thought out, and purposeful. I am blessed with each day I spend with him as my best friend and partner on this road.

The family out golfing across the street from our house. So fun, and such a Michael idea :).

Now on to my Bennett, our "little blessing," who has turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in my life. This child of mine is so complex, so goofy, so funny and unique, it has taken me a full five years to figure out what I know about him now, and I know that I still don't understand everything that makes him tick. It has taken me a full five years to begin to truly appreciate the beauty of who God has woven him to be. I believe I will spend my entire life trying to figure out my first-born. Bennett marches to the beat of his own drum, and watching him do it is fun and frustrating and wonderfully new every morning. My oldest is full of surprises, convincing arguments, ridiculously mature commentary, and silly antics that make you want to either squeeze him tight or scream out loud, depending on the day and the situation. Lord, I love this boy. He brought my motherly instincts to life. He has taught me to pray for patience and wisdom. I have laughed and cried harder over him than anyone else in my life, I think. Our Bennett James is a beautifully made child, and I burst with pride to be his mommy. Not because he always does what he is supposed to, or because he's always where he should be. Not because he says the right things, looks handsome enough (although he is my little heart-breaker :) ), or goes with the flow, or does things the way I think is best. Nope. It's because God entrusted his little heart, mind and body to me. The Lord made him mine, even while Bennett belongs to Him, and I love my little pal to pieces.

For Bennett's birthday this year, we went to pick up donuts on the morning of his birthday, and later picked up his Cars 2 birthday cake and balloons. We spent the day playing games he enjoyed and hanging out with Mimi (the best way to spend any day, as far as he's concerned). When we asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he told us "QT corn dogs." Classy. We ate dinner and opened presents with just the family. On Saturday morning we had his pajama party at the playscape, and his closest friends all came to make the day extra special. He's pretty proud of being 5 now, and reminds me of his age several times a day :). Here are some pictures from the birthday week:

Mimi got him a giant "snow globe," as he likes to call them. He's a little obsessed with them.

The Birthday Party

Some of my nearest and dearest friends.

And now that I've thoroughly gushed and mushed you out, here is what my Benito is up to at his five year mark:
We've been homeschooling this semester, and so far he has learned to write his first and middle name - we're working on his last name. He is learning to write the capital and lowercase letters of the whole alphabet, and can write his numbers 1-10. Basic phonics books are a breeze for him, and have been from the beginning. I think we're going to have to move onto something a little more complicated for next semester. Counting, basic adding and subtracting, and other math skills such as patterns, sorting, etc., come just about effortlessly to him. He is reading in that he can piece sounds together into words and also use basic context clues to figure out what a book is saying. However, we're starting sight words next semester, so there aren't a whole lot of beginning readers he can tackle yet. I'm thinking this summer he'll really take off with this. Bennett still isn't a fan of coloring with basic crayons or markers, but he loves to do more creative things, like painting, molding clay, cutting and glueing, etc. He also loves listening to all kinds of music, and without fail asks what each and every song we listen to is about. This provides some awesome opportunities to talk about God and subjects surrounding Him when we're listening to the radio or our CDs in the car. He loves playing outside, exploring, and has to be in a perpetual state of motion - the same way he's been since he was a baby. We have decided to put him in Kindergarten at the school where Michael teaches next year, and I know the classroom environment will be hard for him (it always has been), because he pretty much breaks the mold wide open of the still, quiet child, but I also think it will be good for him, and he will learn important lessons about self-control, following through with tasks, and that he will love the social aspect of it all :). At five years old, Bennett's very best friends are David and Taylor, Sage and Joelle, Deacon and Anna, Foy, and of course Jasper John.