Last night Ryan and I went to the Melting Pot with Mike and Alissa Reed (they are visiting from Indiana)! We had a great time...ate good food...and celebrated Ryan's birthday. Prior to arriving at the restaurant, Mike had told the restaurant we were celebrating Ryan's 18th birthday (obviously not entirely true). The restaurant had a card waiting at our table and everything. The food was so good. I love how you cook right at your table We had the cheese fondue with bread and apples, salad, the main dish of chicken, steak, pork, veggies and the dessert chocolate with brownies, marshmallows, pound cake and fruit. What a treat!
This morning was so fun. My mom stayed the night and the kids got up nice and early. We had 'tree' for breakfast. Ryan's mom makes a Christmas tree that is kind of like a cinnamon roll that everyone eats for breakfast on Christmas morning. The kids unloaded stockings and opened gifts...we had a great time!
Later in the afternoon we went to Nana and Papa's house for dinner with the extended family. We had a great time and are so grateful for a day set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Christmas jammies...all ready for bed! Our first Christmas has come and gone....oh boy!
Christmas Eve was a wonderful evening of relaxing and enjoying our kiddos and our niece Addison (along with a sundry of adults). Our evening took place here at our house with Greg and Judy (Ryan's parents), Tony and Rachel (Ryan's brother and sister-in-law), Addi (their daughter), my mom and of course the Bennett 5. We had dinner, exchanged gifts, hung out, ate dessert (all the basics). Mason and Mya were still a little confused about the whole thing, but Logan and Addi were pretty good paper shredders....in fact Logan opened almost everyone's presents. I love the smells of Christmas (ham....mmmmm), and the sounds of dancing Christmas decorations and those ever-loved loud new toys. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family!
Mason and Mya experienced the first snow of their lives, although I must say they aren't that interested. Due to the fact that they have been sick, they really never got to bundle up and go 'play' in the snow. We let them watch out the window, step outside and touch the snow, but that was about it. However little the exposure, we had to document the first snow!
One of coolest parts of being a young family is trying to figure out what we want our family traditions are going to be like. Are we going to open gifts on Christmas or Christmas Eve? Do we have a special breakfast every year? What about stockings? Who brings gifts, mom and dad or Santa? You get the idea. So one tradition we are starting this year for our family is the tradtion of three gifts. Each person gets three gifts that appear Christmas morning. (Truth be told though, some boxes have more than one gift in them and the stockings are a little more plump than they used to be...but the meaning is still there). We taught Logan this year that we are giving him three gifts because the wise men brought baby Jesus three gifts to celebrate His birth: gold, frankincense and myrhh. I even made up a little jingle for Logan to learn (it's the teacher in me): we give you three gifts, three gifts, three gifts, we give you three gifts because of the KING! It is so stinkin' cute. Logan mumbles the first part and then yells KING! BABY JESUS IS KING! We just want him to learn that we give gifts to remember Jesus...that he was born into the world to provide salvation to us all. We want Christmas to be fun, festive, joyful but with some wonderful traditions that point our children to the Truth in Christmas: Jesus!
Many of you know that Mason and Mya have some reflux issues...! As a result we have been waiting to get into a pediatric gastroenterologist for 3 months. Mason has been getting worse and worse but I just kept that Dec. 18th appointment in my mind. Of course the wonderful snow comes in and threatens to keep us from our appointment. I vowed that I would take Mason on a city bus to get to OHSU if I had to (and that's not like me). Fortunately Ryan was willing to brave the ice and snow so we could take the kiddos to their appointment. We were one of only a few people who made their appointments that morning. It actually worked out quite well as we got nice long, thorough appointments. There wasn't anyone else around, so no one was in a hurry. While we were in our appointment the doctor called for us to step out into the hall to look out the window. The sky was pouring huge flakes of snow and all the beautiful evergreen trees were covered. Since the hospital sits way up on a hill it really felt like we were in a giant snow globe. It was an amazing sight! The doctor changed up medicines and doses for Mason and Mya and also ordered swallow studies and anatomy exams on their throats, noses, etc. Good news was that there isn't anything severely wrong; bad news is we are still working at the guessing game of getting these kiddos figured out. I can deal with the yuckiness of it all if we can just get a little weight on Mason. It was kind of fun to venture out in the snow on Thursday and Friday (appointments and tests)! What a beautiful sight.
You may have noticed that I haven't updated our blog in a long time. We have been so busy. Last Monday was my birthday and the stomach flu was in full swing in our house. We were ALL sick...and I mean sick. I can't even remember the last time I was that sick for that long. So, it took us a majority of the week to get all five of us completely over the flu bug. Joyfully, we are back in health. Between Ryan and I and the kiddos, it seems like somebody is always sick. So thankful for restored health.
The first winery we visited was Cubanissimo...(Cuban). They had Fidel Castro on the toilet paper...how funny is that!
Jess and I....everyone thinks we look like sisters!
Cheers to a limo ride!
This last Saturday night my pal Jessica (with a little help from my hubby) planned a wine tour to celebrate my 27th birthday. We went to five local vineyards in a LIMO. At 11:00 a limo showed up to pick up Ryan and I and 6 of our closest buddies: Brandon and Jessica (Kogers), Dan and Annie (Schachers), and Denee' and Travis (Kroegers). Jess had awesome food, drinks and goodie bags in the limo (complete with wine tasting journals, wine charms and other cute stuff!) We hit the five vineyards and sampled at each (a flight...2 oz. pours of the several of the favorite wines) Lastly, we ended at The Old Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner. We had a blast! Thanks Jessica and Ryan...you guys are awesome party planners.
One of the best parts of the Christmas season for our family is checking the mail each day and getting each of your family's Christmas cards and letters. This year we are hanging the pictures up in the dining room so we can actually enjoy them. After the season is over, I am going to cut out the pictures and put them in a jar on the dining room table (it's hard to explain, the centerpiece on our table is jars with candy and random things in them). Each evening as we pray, we will pray for a few of you, our friends, by family picture. This will help our kiddos keep straight who everybody is! I am super excited about this new tradition in our house...so keep those Christmas cards coming!
Since we got some snow in the valley, Ryan took Logan on a drive to check it all out! They pulled over on the side of the road to take the picture of Logan (that's why he isn't wearing a coat)! He did have one in the pick-up though. I am so excited....I LOVE IT WHEN IT SNOWS!!!!!
It is hard to believe but Mason and Mya will be turning one in January! I have already begun the birthday party preparations...! I feel kind of bad, but Mason and Mya's party is going to pale in comparision to Logan's 'event'. I tell you that only because we may have met you, even love you and not bother you with a birthday party invite this time around. I learned my lesson with Logan's party. It was overwhelming to both him and me...we are going to tame this party a little bit. Jessica came over this week to take some pictures of Mason and Mya for the invitations. I haven't finished the invite yet, but I had to show you these cute pics!
Most of you know Dan, Annie and Marissa. We lovingly refer to them as 'the Schachers'...our best family buds. Well, the Schachers were over the other day and we witnessed Marissa's new trick...the wave. I kid you not, it is a full on elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist princess wave! Absolutely hysterical. My kids all have the typical floppy wrist wave...still baby book worthy but nothing like the princess wave...the picture doesn't do it justice. Maybe Annie will put a video on her blog....hint, hint!
Ha! Don't worry, no more babies. Just a new laptop for my brithday....thanks Ryan! I've been all excited about digital scrapbooking, but have realized that in order to do it...I have to leave the house (hence the need for a laptop). It seems like whenever I am home, there is always something or someone that needs my attention!
My new laptop made it's debut at the MOPS mom's night out/cooking exchange on Friday night. Annie and I (my digi buddy) had a couple hours to begin working on pictures.
An earlier, more well received picture, but Mason and Mya were both napping during this one!
After a while, Melia and Logan had to take some R&R time to watch Mickey Mouse Christmas!
We were trying to get all of them in a picture...our efforts were unappreciated. No Mya...she was sleeping.
Thursday my gal pals Becca and Janna came over with their kiddos. Becca has a little girl, Melia, 8 months older than Logan and has a another little one (Kylee) 3 months younger than Mason and Mya. Janna has twin boys (Jered and Gabe) also a few months younger than Mason and Mya. We had a blast and couldn't help but laugh at how many babies were crawling around the living room! To make it just a little louder and more amusing Logan and Melia were racing around the house in Logan's little ride-along-cars! What a good time and an amazing blessing to see so many kiddos all together! We had such a good time that our play-date lunch turned into play-date dinner and we didn't disband until the hubbys and the kids were too tired to continue...we moms could go on forever.
I hate to toot my own horn, but I got so much done today!...(although you would never know it looking at my house). I got my little gifts made...you know the ones for people like Logan's BSF teachers, Mya's physical therapist and speech therapist, the kids' music teacher, our babysitter, etc. Those little gifts are the hardest for me because I enjoy doing something cute and thoughtful to let those people know how much we appreciate them without going too overboard. This year I got little paint cans, decorated them with the cutest ribbons and tags, and made little gem magnets to stick on top. As the time gets closer I will fill them with baked goods! How cute is that? I had a ball today (I love crafts), plus I get to check one more thing off my list of things to do!
The two trucks just got loaded with onion boxes and are ready to head out to the packing shed! Logan is already a farmer in training.
The forklift (Logan calls it 'the Hyster'), getting ready to load boxes.
Fresh out of the bath, but no time for jammies, there are nun-yuns to go to the gacking shed!
One of Logan's favorite things to do with his daddy is to ride along when Ryan hauls onions from one of the barns to the packing shed. Logan rides along every chance he gets. Using the fork lift, they load the truck with onion boxes, tie the boxes down, and head to the packing shed.
The other morning when Ryan went into Logan's room, Logan was neatly stacking his alphabet blocks inside a small tub and driving his little forklift around them. When asked what he was doing he replied, "I'm stacking nun-yun boxes (onion boxes) in the barn. I'm loading my cuck (truck) with nun-yun boxes so I can take them to the cacking shed (packing shed)! How cute is that? Children really are the great imitators...I am just grateful he has such a wonderful daddy to imitate. It is also a good reminder to me that children learn what they live!
Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day making soup. I had ham to use up so I made a big pot of navy bean soup...and I was going to a soup exchange later that night (more about that later) so I was making a double batch of taco soup. I only have one really big kettle so I did a lot of rotating and washing. Needless to say, I will make it a priority to beef up my kettle collection. It will also become priority to get a DECENT CAN OPENER. Ours is junk, but it is just one of those things you don't think of when you are at Macy's or Target. So, as I was trying to get the lid off the tomato sauce (it stayed attached at three little spots) it exploded ALL OVER THE KITCHEN. Then naturally my darling little Mason hustles to the largest puddle on the floor and rolls in it like a beached whale (fortunately for me he was only wearing a diaper). I wish you could have seen him trying to get to the tomato sauce before I stopped him. He looked like he was doing the breast stroke on land. It was absolutely hilarious! All's well that ends well: All soup was made and the kitchen got cleaned up.
Back to the souper soiree'. Some girls from BSF had a soup party/exchange. We all came, ate, visited and traded soups. There was nothing to buy or do....just enjoy good company and share recipes. It was a good time and so nice to feel like a girl...not just a mom. What a day!
Whenever I get discouraged about one of Mya's doctor's visits, my good pal Becca reminds me that Mya is on her own little journey! It helps me keep things in perspective. Yesterday, Mya saw another pediatric development specialist at Emanuel. She has been doing well in speech and physical therapy and seems to be making good progress. I was cautiously optimistic that the doctor would see Mya and be so thrilled with her progress that possibly she would give Mya a "clean bill of health" and we would be sent on our way. Unfortunately, they are still concerned about her development in several areas so they would like her to continue in therapy and continue to be closely monitored. I am grateful for the great care Mya is receiving, but all the unknowns are a little overwhelming. I am thankful that Mya has a heavenly father who is all-knowing and all-powerful. I pray that the Lord's will would be done in Mya's life and that she would bring honor and glory to God all her days no matter her circumstance.
Saturday we decorated the Christmas tree! Ryan, Mason and Logan meticulously put the lights round and round the tree and we all hung the ornaments (okay, so mostly Ryan and I). When Ryan was putting on the lights on the tree Logan kept trying to 'help' (and I use that term loosely) and Ryan finally said, "Logan, stop moving the lights....there is an art to this." To that Logan replied, "Teach me the art daddy, teach me the art." It was so stinkin' funny. We are officially decorated for the Christmas season! Yahoooo!!!!!!!
This blog comes to you as a true outpouring of the heart. Raising children is the greatest, most rewarding (needless to say trying and exhausting) job I will ever know. That being said, I feel that genuine joy is experienced as we watch our children grow and nurture their inner spirits. I find myself wishing that you all could peek in a window to see and experience the precious moments that fill our home each day as Logan, Mason and Mya grow. I wish you could glimpse Logan's tender spirit and love for trucks, tractors, daddy and Jesus. A smile would fill your face as you laughed with Mason, he has the most amazing laugh, and saw his absolute determination to do anything and everything on his mind. And believe me your heart would warm as you held Mya and realized that she would sit in your arms all day if time would permit. She has a tender, gentle, love-filled spirit. Hopefully this blog gives you a little peek into the world we call home...