Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I recently learned that this week has been set aside as a week to encourage people not to use the word 'retarded' in reference to a mood, feeling, a person in jest, or anything else of the sorts. A friend has a post on her blog about their amazing kiddo and how the word has come to effect their family in this last year. Check out her blog (because she says it a lot better than I would), http://oliversfamilytwist.blogspot.com/ and hear her heart. It is a good reminder how much our words can unknowingly hurt other people. I remember after my brother passed away I would shudder when I heard people make remarks like, "I just wanted to shoot myself"...or seriously, "I would kill myself if that happened". The remarks wouldn't have caused me a second thought some years ago, but now they just don't seem as funny-or funny at all, really. I am queen of 'talk now, think later' and sometimes I am in need of a good reminder of how powerful my words really are. Possibly you are too, blessings!

Walk in Love
"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, and offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma. But fornification and all uncleanness or covetnousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks." (Ephesians 5:1-4).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Insights on the Precious Gift of Little Girls!

For those of you who know me very well, you likely know that I swore up and down God would never give me daughters. I swore to this because I DID NOT WANT DAUGHTERS. I am girly enough for a whole house (and possibly even a neighbor's house), and simply wanted to partake in the boyish pleasures of dirt, worms, trucks and those type of things. I taught kindergarten before God gave us kiddos and I swore that girls were caddy right out of the womb. They had a special way about them that seemed to be innately girly. They cared that 'so and so' didn't like their hair, and they cared that their tiny hair bow fell out at recess. Not only did they care, it was as if their world was falling apart. Boys on the other hand just seemed so much less dramatic. They could muster up the strength to play on their own and they were far more likely to hit someone who was mean to them rather than sob uncontrollably about it. I realize that this is all very sterotypical, but it seemed to be the truth. I had decided that based on my own dramatic tendencies, I would be a great mother to boys (too much of a good thing is not such a good thing). When I was pregnant with Logan, I remember when the ultrasound technician told us our baby was a boy. I was elated. I was thrilled that God and I were on the same page. We seemed to see eye to eye. Logan was a true joy and I couldn't wait for the band of brothers that would follow. About a year later, we found out we were having twins. At the ultrasound for the twins I made sure the technician knew that we were having boys, and that I didn't particularly care to have girls either. She saw baby A and announced it was a boy! YES! And when she saw baby B the technician said that we had better get used to the idea of a having a girl. I would be lying if I said I were totally thrilled, but I began to get used to the idea. Fast forward a few months to January when Mason and Mya were born. I was thrilled to add another boy to our family (Mr. Mason), and about melted when I laid eyes on the princess (Miss Mya). She was absolutely beautiful, delicate and feminine. She was the most beautiful thing the NICU had ever seen (at least that is my version). I was completely convinced that the doctors weren't discharging her because she was so amazingly cute. I remember the moment I walked into the NICU after they had given Mya a bath, and low and behold she was wearing A BOW! My heart pitter-pattered and did somersaults. My unrealized dreams had come true. I had my very own little princess to love and cherish. Since then I haven't looked back. I love to watch Mya, and I love all things pink, purple, lacey, soft, and GIRLY! Mya has such a sweet, tender way about her. She looks adoringly at the little buttons on her sweater. She gently touches jewelry almost as though she's petting it. She loves my make-up brushes, and she doesn't even eat the bristles! She loves her tea set and adores snuggling. Don't get me wrong, I know some boys love these things too, but Mya is so different from our boys (who couldn't care less about anything unless it has wheels or is used outside). She truly is a special creature that God created uniquely different from her brothers. I adore having sons and I couldn't imagine life without dirt and trucks, but sometimes I catch myself staring at Mya as she adoringly holds her baby doll, and I am reminded of God's lovingkindness. He knows what we need when we don't. All good and perfect gifts really are from Him!

Mya's first bow in the NICU...I still keep the picture on my phone!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Birthday week!

This has been Ryan's birthday week--due in part to the fact that since we have all been sick, we haven't been able to celebrate at will. Today, we went over to Nana and Papa's house for a late birthday dinner. If you have had dinner at Greg and Judy's house, you know the food is ALWAYS good. We had BBQ chicken, baked beans and Judy's infamous potato salad. We had such a good time. We were able to relax, enjoy the kiddos and spend time together. Mason enjoyed staring out the window and Logan and Papa practiced standing on their heads. I couldn't help but crack up at the pictures of everybody goofing off and having fun. Thanks for a great evening! Cheers to the birthday boy, AGAIN!
PS: I think most of Ryan's family (and a lot of our friends too) have a birthday in March. Ryan, his brother, his mom, his niece, Logan, my best pal Denee', Ryan's pal Josh...and the list goes on. Isn't that funny?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Last night we went to P.F. Chang's with the Kroeger's, Wells', and the Schacher's. It is Josh's birthday on Sunday, so we all celebrated and had a great dinner. What a blast! We laughed, told stories and laughed some more. I love getting out, without the kiddos, to enjoy friends and remember that we are friends and sisters, not just mama's. It was especially a blessing this week as I hadn't hardly showered, let alone put make-up on for most of the week. Yeah for time away with friends!
Dan, Ryan, Travis and Josh!
Denee', me, Becca and Annie!

Dull, LONG and a Crummy Dr. Appt.

This week has been utterly dull and LONG. We have all been battling the really nasty cold going around (for a full two weeks). In short we have been forced to cancel all play-dates and get-togethers (both here and out) and we haven't had any of our normal 'outings' (BSF, music) because of spring break. All in all I have just been trying to keep Logan from scaling the walls out of sheer bordom while keeping Mason and Mya feeling as comfortable as possible (babies and colds are a bad thing especially when they share a room and wake each other up all night).

The only thing we have really done this week is take Mya to her big 'check-up' appointment with the developmental pediatrician at Emanuel. She is the one who has the authority to discharge Mya from the program and give her a 'good-health seal' (so to speak). The doctor was pleased that Mya was making progress, but she wasn't ready to discharge her. Mya is now assessing even further behind that she was at previous assessments. The reason for this is that although Mya can do many more things, she has also gotten older, thus raising the standard of what is expected of her. The doctor was asking about some of Mya's facial features (always looking for genetic disorders) so I got a little discouraged. They were comparing pictures of Logan's features with Mya's (I insisted that all of Mya's features run in the family) to see if a specific feature was hereditary. Nothing about the situation has changed, I just long for human assurance that Mya is on the right road developmentally. On top of all that, Mya was in an awful mood. Tears, tears and more tears. She didn't want to be weighed, measured or bothered and she didn't feel all that great. I won't lie, the appointment was disappointing, but we will have another one in 9 months....so the journey continues.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Mr. Wonderful!

Tomorrow, March 22, 2009 is Ryan's 31st birthday! We are having a low key day of lunch together (without our sick kiddos) and an evening with friends. Here's wishing a wonderful man a wonderful birthday!

Denee' Marie is 27!

My best bud ever Denee' Marie Kroeger officially turned 27 today! Ryan and I were able to spend the afternoon with her, Travis and their families. Travis, her hubby, planned the sweetest party for her. He did all the planning (aka: food, plates, cups, drinks, etc). He also did an awesome job shopping for and making food himself (hamburger patties with feta and mushrooms in them...impressive, huh?). Props to the Travinator for all his work! I always feel so blessed to spend time with Denee, because I love her and I completely appreciate the history we share. Best Buds since 8th grade...pretty amazing, huh? Happy Birthday to my completely incredible bud, Denee!

Kinda a big candle, huh? I think he grabbed it out of a candelabra!
Denee' opening her gifts. We got her a new workout outfit (since she is actually running like she and I are supposed to be...GO DENEE')!Denee' and I always have to get together for a picture! Memories in the making you know.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Thank you to those of you who made Logan's birthday so much fun (I don't know who has more fun, the kiddos or the grown-ups)! Thank-you's are headed your way (as soon as I finish the last 5 of them).

Cute Kiddos!

This morning I woke up to a strange noise. It was sort of a bumping, skipping noise. Come to find out, it was Mason's head being drug down the hallway (hardwood floors mind you). Logan was dragging Mason around by the ankles up and down the hallway. I was cracking up because Mason was cracking up. It looked, and sounded, sort of painful but Mason was lit up from ear to ear. Kids have a lot of qualities...but humor tops the list.

Later today, after BSF, Logan and I met Becca and Melia for lunch at Baja Fresh. Kids are such a hoot to take to lunch because they have to go potty about every 10 minutes and they are always spilling and making a mess. Despite all the fresh food Baja Fresh has to offer, our kiddos devour the packaged applesauce that comes with the kids' meal. Logan was staring off into space, but I had to post this picture because little Miss Melia looks so stinkin' cute in this picture! Friends are such an amazing blessing. Thank you Lord!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Monster Truck Rally!

Logan's birthday party was yesterday and it was a BLAST! We celebrated with friends and enjoyed the fellowship that comes with having most of your good buds and family under one roof at the same time. Logan had been waiting and waiting for this day to come. He finally understood that it was all about celebrating him. All his best buddies, favorite things, and favorite foods came together to create a personal amusement park of sorts (at least for the birthday boy). He even got a special monster truck birthday shirt complete in party colors and all. I love planning birthday parties, but this was my first time doing one at our house. I always struggle with how to make it work in a 'not super big house' with lots of people (our short, short, short guest list is 35ish) and still wanting everyone to have lots to do and room to have fun. This year I decided to work with the garage as I was wanting to make a monster truck sand pit anyway (which would not be welcome inside and it was raining outside), so I decorated the garage as a monster truck rally pit and the kids loved it. It even gave us a place for crafts and the pinata....it all worked out great. The 'monster snack bar' was inside and featured all sorts of snacks: crackers, cheese, hummus, fruit, pirate's booty, licorice, peanut butter bars, 7 layer bars and lots more high-calorie snacks. Nana made Logan's birthday cake. It was an ice-cream cake shaped like a dirt mound with crushed oreos. We even added a monster truck for effect! We were so blessed by the presence of our family and friends. We are also so blessed by Mr. Logan who has the sweetest, most grateful spirit we could ever hope or pray for.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mya crawling and her final PT!

Friday night Mya started crawling! You are probably thinking 'big deal'...they all do that. But I honestly remember wondering if Mya would ever crawl...roll over...or do anything much for that matter. After she was born, it seemed like a long time before we heard anything positive about her prognosis. She had EEG's, CT Scans, and MRI's. She was delayed, with low-muscle tone. All sorts of diagnosis were thrown out and one by one she has outperformed them all. God has truly restored her health. She is thriving and blessing our lives. Today she had, what I pray will be, her last physical therapy appointment. I won't fib...I am prayerfully hoping that Mya's appointment in two weeks will far surpass the doctors expectations and that they will discharge her from the children's development and rehabilitation center. No one has directly implied that she is ready to be discharged. I am just believing and praying that we can turn the last page in this chapter of our lives. When we sit in the waiting room at Emanuel, my heart can't help but sing for joy at the blessings we have experienced. I see parents and kiddos who are facing tough things in life and difficulties beyond what I could imagine. I thank the Lord for His faithfulness to Mya, our family, and me personally. I pray that I would see His goodness and faithfulness even if Mya continues to have health and/or development issues. God is good despite our circumstances and certainly despite our health. His character is unchanging and is not dictated of affected by life circumstances.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our Precious Baby Turns Three!

Today our precious first-born turned three years old. It is absolutely crazy...The time really has gone so fast. He is growing into a wonderful, young boy with manners, dreams, and passions. I feel so blessed to have spent the last three years watching him grow. What a blessing it is to be his mommy. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Today when Logan got up, we met Ryan for breakfast at the Chalet and then headed to Toys R Us to scope out some new toys. Shortly thereafter I gave Logan the good news that the day was ours...it was limitless. We had the whole afternoon...just he and I. I offered to take him to the Gilbert House (his favorite), the park, the children's museum or anywhere else he could dream up. He decided that he wanted to go to Nana and Papa's house with his new truck. I figured that it was his day to spend it as he wished....even if that didn't include mommy! So off he went...we had the morning together anyways. Then tonight, we all went to Red Robin to conclude Logan's third birthday celebration (although his party isn't until this weekend). What a special day to spend celebrating Logan James Bennett!
Logan's first cupcake--eaten first thing after breakfast!
Red Robin with Nana and Papa--
The good ol' Red Robin birthday song!
Mason wore daddy's hat--cheap entertainment!The girls shared a sundae for dessert.
Logan was finally willing to pose with Red!

Birthday Preparations!

Logan and I made cupcakes last night for his birthday TODAY! He helped pour, mix, frost, decorate...the whole 9 yards. He was so excited to decorate his SPECIAL cupcake...the one he would eat on his birthday morning. He paid careful attention to all the details of his cupcake. He wanted the frosting a certain way and his sprinkles in just the right places. Once completed, we placed it on it's own plate on the counter until I finished the other cupcakes. As Ryan tucked Logan in (Mason and Mya were still awake due to a late nap), I finished frosting and decorating the other cupcakes. When I looked over Mason had climbed Logan's stool and proceeded to destroy Logan's special birthday cupcake. As I shrieked in disbelief, Logan came running out and you could see in his eyes that his whole world had just fallen apart. Logan was crushed and Mason was covered in cupcake. Once we got Mason cleaned up and to bed, I spent some time counseling Logan about the disappointments in life. He was sobbing and begging me to sing him the song. I didn't know what song he was talking about, but between the tears he was pleading with me to sing him the song about Mason eating his cupcake. So like any good mama, I proceeded to make up verse after verse about the unfortunate tragedy. Finally, after THREE full verses...he was willing to go to bed. Needless to say, I will not be leaving Logan's stool by the counter anymore!

Sissa Gecker turns ONE!

Marissa Schacher (Logan says Sissa Gecker) had her first birthday party on Saturday. She looked so darling, and was good natured (as always). Dan and Annie did an awesome job....the decor was amazing and the kids had a great time. Mason, Mya and Logan were so excited to give Marissa her birthday gift. They had been trying to open it all week. They gave her a Disney Princess ride-on car. All of our kiddos have them...and they are, by far, the favorite toy around here. Hopefully Marissa will love her car as much as the Bennett kids do.

Weekend Away!

On Saturday and Sunday Jessica and I took our hubbys to Portland. We go-karted, had dinner and drinks, stayed in a hotel suite (one big room with two bedrooms and a living room), shopped and just enjoyed ourselves. It is so nice to have little breaks from our kiddos (thank you mom). So, Jessica and I go-karted once, and then we let the guys go on their own. Apparently I was a little slow and made it hard for everyone to move freely around the track. In my defense, I was enjoying the scenery (who cares if it was in a poorly ventilated warehouse)! So, while the guys raced again, Jess and I were taking pictures. It was one of those 'goofy, junior high' kind of moments where we were laughing hysterically at EVERYTHING. We were taking cheerleading style pics in our racing suits (see picture #4). We got the funniest pictures...what fun memories!

Great-Grandma Honey and Great-Grandpa Everett

This last week we had a special visit from Honey and Everett. They aren't going to be able to make it to Logan's birthday party this next weekend, so they made the trip up from Springfield to spend the afternoon with us. They were thrilled to see Mason, Mya and Logan because they have been gone in Arizona for the last four months or so. They brought Logan a birthday gift and some cupcakes so they could celebrate with him a little early. I always like to get pictures of the kiddos with their great-grandparents, because we never know how long we have with them. These pictures are a little progression of the afternoon. The picture of Mason sobbing was a response to the fact that I cut him off at two cupcakes...HONESTLY. He ate two full cupcakes. It was hilarious.