Friday, December 27, 2013

Snow Much Fun!

Its only logical to take your cars to play in the snow.

 He loves this John Deere tractor that our neighbors gave to us.  He decided to sit on it and scoop and dump the snow.  Benny's snow removal business is in operation!

Bulldozer style.

Benny loves to be outside.  Even in the winter.  Maybe a week or so ago, I took him out to play in the snow.  It turns out that sand toys are also excellent snow toys.  He played for an hour and a half with a bucket and a small sand shovel.  Mommy was nearly frozen from standing there watching him, but he didn't seem to mind and probably would have stayed outside for another hour or so....

I think this is why Grandpa Stevie has become Benny's hero.  Yesterday, we spent the day at my parent's house.  He was so sad that Stevie had to go to work in the morning.  Once Stevie got home, Benny went outside with him to feed the chickens, bunnies, and sheep.  Plus, he got to help Stevie add firewood to the furnace.  What could be better!?  

(Yes.  Benny calls my parents Lindy and Stevie.  Cousin Ella and Luke set the trend...)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fall Agenda

Benny and I have had a pretty fun fall.  Benny really does enjoy getting out of the house and doing activities with other children now.  Its good for both of us really.  Being mainly a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), you must get out of the house to avoid getting claustrophobic.  {I actually have a part-time job for those of you that might not know.  But, its hard to convince people that an organist/children's choir director is actually a real job.  Alas, I digress....}  This fall, Benny and I have participated in two regular events each week, and they have been great.

1) Storytime at the library.  Mrs. Long leads a 30 minute story hour session at our local library.  She is absolutely wonderful.  We *heart* Mrs. Long.  Its a class for kids newborn-3.  She does a perfect blend of familiar songs/rhymes we do each week, along with some new books, short puppet stories, etc.  Benny loves it.  We sing our storytime songs all the time at home.  This fall's favorites?  A peek-a-book song, the hello song, a rhyme about a scarecrow, and an African song that means 'when we get together.'  Benny loves that Mrs. Long gives every kid in storytime a stamp on their hand at the very end.  Of course, Benny always asks Mrs. Long to give him a stamp on both hands.  Makes one happy Benny.

2) We joined a Bible study group called BSF (Bible Study Fellowship).  Its an international, nondenominational organization.  All around the world, people are doing the same Bible study each week.  My study includes a small group discussion and then a lecture on the same material.  The following week's lesson includes sort of a review of last week's lesson and readings/questions for each day of the next week.  Best part----they have classes for newborns-pre-K.  They are actually classes, not just daycare.  They teach them Bible songs, teach them to pray, and teach them a Bible lesson based on what the adults are learning.  They are there for 2 hours.  Kudos to the teachers (Mrs. Julie and Mrs. Lynne) who do a fabulous job keeping all the children in Benny's age 1-2 class productively engaged for 2 hours!  I would highly recommend the program to moms with young children.  You can go to the BSF website and find the class sight that is closest to your house, no matter where you live!  Its a wonderfully supportive group of women who seek to follow Christ.

Its hard to believe, but tonight Benny and I went to the Hanging of the Greens/Jinglefest at our church.  My children's choir sang for the occasion.  We celebrate Thanksgiving/Christ the King Sunday in the morning service but don't have a mid-week Thanksgiving service.  So---next Sunday is Advent already.  They had lots of fun crafts for the kids.  Plus, they had a pizza potluck dinner complete with Christmas carols and lots of kids dancing to their favorite holiday tunes.  Benny found the evening to be quite terrific.  On the way home he was shouting "It fun!  It fun!"  Here is a pic of Benny and I when we got home with his first ever homemade Christmas crafts.

A Christmas tree, an angel made from a toilet paper tube and Benny's cut out hands, and a wooden star that we glittered.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Halloween Spooktacular!

This year Benny thought the whole trick-or-treating idea was pretty cool.  You walk around and people give you stuff.  Awesome.  We went to our church's trunk-or-treat, and we went to my brother and sister-in-law's annual Halloween party.  It is a pretty great party.  They invite lots of family, friends, and neighbors over on the night of their community's trick-or-treating.  Everyone brings a crock-pot of soup to share.  They have a couple of bonfires and even project the football game on the back of their barn so the die-hard fans don't miss out.  Lots of fun!

The trick-or-treat gang!

Benny and Cousin Luke!

Daddy's fierce little lion.

With Stevie and Lindy

An awesome idea!  Empty out a pumpkin and add a spout for apple cider.

A few Buckeye fans were present at the party.

Benny and I made sugar cookies with 'spooky sprinkles' a few days before the party.  Benny was the official taste tester for the orange frosting.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Purple Popsicles and Puff Balls

The great thing about little kids?  Its the little things that make them so happy.  This fall Benny fell in love with purple popsicles.  I don't even think he cared all that much about eating them.  He carried most of them around (outside only) until they melted after only taking a few licks.  But, he was just delighted by them.  The other thing he loves?  Puff balls.  The dandelion puffs that everyone hates in your yard?  Hold your weed killer!  Those puff balls are one of Benny's favorite things.  He would ask to go on walks just so he could look for puff balls.  Here is a super sweet picture of my very happy Benny with his puff ball collection after a walk.  I think he just likes saying the words 'purple' and 'puff balls.'

The other things Benny currently loves greatly:
1) Elmo.  I think he would watch the youtube video of Elmo and Halle Berry teaching about the word 'nibble' all day long.
2) You can't have Elmo without Elmo's sidekick Abby.
3) Hiding.  A few days ago Benny woke up from his nap.  The first thing he told me was as follows: "Dada. Hide.  From Mama."  When Daddy gets home from work everyday, they go hide and I have to find them.  His favorite hiding spot?  Under the covers of our bed.
4) The song "The Wheels on the Bus."  We frequently have to sing it during dinner.
5) Bath Color Drops.  I think that is what they are called.  They are these tablets that color the bath water.  Everyday he is so excited to pick out a color for his bath water.
6) "Moo Moo, Neigh Neigh, and Bear!"  His favorite trio of stuffed animals.  He piles them all up and snuggles them.
7) French fries.  The other day I had the following car conversation with Benny.
     Benny: "The M!"
     Me: "Yup.  That's the letter M for McDonalds."
     Benny: "French fries!"
     Me:  "Yes.  They have french fries there."
     Benny: "Mami?"
     Me:  "I know.  Where's Grammie when you need her to take you to get some french fries."
     Once in a while Grammie and Grampie take Benny to lunch at McDonalds.  He likes that.
8) Backhoes.  Anything with the ability to scoop and dump he refers to as a 'backhoe.'  Our friend Adam cultivated the love for the backhoe.  He and his dad have some construction type equipment and we went over to show Benny one day.  He is still talking about that day.  There was an apple tree nearby, and Benny would put apples in the scooper and Adam would lift it up in the air and dump it.  Adam did the same thing with logs/pieces of wood.  Whenever we see a backhoe, an apple, or a piece of wood Benny and I's conversation goes something like this:
     Benny: "Adam!  Backhoe!  Dump!"
     Me: "I know.  Adam likes to scoop and dump the apples with the backhoe."
9) The mail.  This is another thing he looks forward to when Daddy gets home from work.  They get the mail.  Benny makes sure Daddy checks inside and outside.  No mail will be forgotten.
10) Storytime at the library.  He loves all the songs we sing each week.  His very favorite part?  At the end of storytime, all the kids can line up to get a stamp on their hand.  He's gotten very good at saying 'please' and 'thank you' for his stamp.  He always asks Mrs. L (our favorite storytime leader) for 'another one.'  Benny prefers a stamp on each hand.

Benny, don't grow up too fast on your Mommy.  I love that you love the little things in life. :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Camping 2013

Nearly every year since Kevin and I have been dating/engaged/married, we have went on a fall camping trip with his family.  It is an annual event that I really enjoy.  This year we were able to go with Kevin's parents, grandparents, cousin Cassandra, and Chris, Angie, Faith, and Callie.  It was a gorgeous weekend!

His shirt says "Daddy's Happy Camper."  Faith is the best.oldest.cousin.ever.  She takes such good care of Benny, and Benny absolutely adores her.  On the drive to our cabins, Benny asked for 'Faif' as he calls her at least 1000 times. 

Grammie brought along a game of bocce ball.  We never played bocce ball.  Benny decided that we should all sit at the top of this hill and roll the balls down for a 'race.'

Strolling on the dock with his beloved 'Pampi.'

Glow sticks at dark!

So peaceful.

Aunt Angie still plays a mean ukulele.

An attentive ukulele listener.

Another one of Benny's favorite activities for the weekend....throwing rocks into the lake.

Song time.

The whole camping crew!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Think PINK

Its long time overdue to make it blog-official.   Baby #2's ETA is Jan. 28!  This time, we had a 'gender revealing  party.'  I thought it would be much more fun to find out if its a boy or girl with all of our family members than at the doctor's office.  At our ultrasound, we had them write if it was a boy or girl and put it in a sealed envelope.  I took it to a bakery and gave them the envelope.  They made a 'gender neutral' cake on the outside, but the inside would be either pink or blue.  It was so much fun!  Lots of our family came over.  We had dinner.  Then we cut the cake.  Turns out the inside was pink :)

The cake.  It was very tasty too.

This girl was definitely hoping for a pink cake.

Benny just seemed happy that there were pink and blue balloons to kick around.

Does that belly seem to say 'lets get girly' or 'lets drive a backhoe and get muddy'?

Everyone at the party had to choose to be on 'Team Pink' or 'Team Blue.'

The suspense is building!

Cheers for pink!

Benny got to eat the first bite.

It was decided that we should feed each other a bite, 'wedding style.'  Kevin shoved it into my face.  That's what you get after 8 years of marriage.

I'm sure Kevin will look good with pink bows in his hair and strawberry flavored lip gloss.

The main dilemma with Baby #2 (Kevin and I refer to her as 'Cupcake.'  Benny was 'Pumpkin' pre-birth)....  The website address for my blog is now all wrong.  It should be kevyanniebennyand______.  It was suggested that I should have 2 blogs, one for each of them.  That seems like way too much work.  I guess it will have to remain kevyannieandbenny.  Wasn't thinking ahead on that one.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Baby Clay

In mid-September, we got to fly to Minnesota to meet our newest nephew/cousin, Clay Matthew.  He was born on Sept. 5.  People always say it, but its so true.  He is the cutest, sweetest little guy.  Very sadly, Benny and I were sick for awhile during our visit.  We even spent one afternoon/evening in 'quarantine' so as to let our antibiotics to kick in so we wouldn't get the knew happy family sick.  Despite the illness, we had a great time visiting with family and celebrating Clay's baptism.  Clay's daddy happens to be a wonderful pastor, so it was a truly lovely service.

Here are some pics from the long weekend in Minnesota:

Checking out that sweet baby.

Mommy, Daddy, and godparents


Grammie and Grampie's grandkids

Love for the newly baptized Clay.

We managed to have some time for fun at the park with Cousin Caleb.

The hotel had a pool!  Benny is like his mama.  After a short while, he was shivering and his lips turned blue.  We stuck our feet in the hot tub to warm up.

What a wonderful weekend!  Lucky for us, Clay is bringing his mommy and daddy to come and visit us in early December.  We can't wait!  (Especially Aunt Annie, because I never got to hold the little cutie.  Yucky strep throat!)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Choo! Choo!

I think I see happy little boy in the picture above.  At church, my biggest organ fan Dave gave us this train.  His two girls are getting a bit old for it.  Benny enjoys giving his stuffed animals rides.  What was I thinking?  I totally should I have kept this toy for Christmas.  Its gonna be hard to beat.  A train you can ride around and around and it whistles?  Couldn't be better.

Here is a video of Benny riding the train:

Recently, Benny has become a huge fan of his stuffed animals.  We have three favorites which he has named as follows: Moo-Moo (a cow), Neigh-Neigh (a horse), and Bear.  Creative names, I know.  Bear is the giant stuffed animal riding the train.  You have to have said three stuffed animals in order to go to sleep.  They frequently go to church with us, go to Nana and Papa's house, they go to the library, and they go to the grocery store.  I draw the line at actually bringing Bear into any public location with us much to Benny's dismay.  He always wants to put Bear in the grocery cart.  Bear has to stay behind to 'make sure our car is ok.'  Marsha (my former bell choir member)---the Bear was an excellent gift!

Benny and his beloved Bear.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fair Fun

Every year we try to make it to the fair to see all the animals.  Its always a good time.  This year Benny was really excited to see all the animals.  It was extra fun because Cousin Ella was in 4-H this year.  She made a neat step-stool with Grandpa Steve, raised some pullets with the help of Granny Lindy, and made a super cute skirt with her talented seamstress Mom.  At the fair we got to see all of her projects including a fashion show where she got to wear her skirt and talk about the challenging parts and most enjoyable parts of sewing.

For those of you that think roosters are friendly farm animals that happily wake everyone up with a cock-a-doodle-doo, think again.  Every rooster I've ever met is quite mean.  This one would peck Uncle Aron's finger. Benny thought it was pretty funny. 

Somebody let us brush their cow.

Cute little Jersey calf.

 A llama!  The high school I went to was next to a llama farm.  No.  I'm not joking.

They all climbed onto the fire truck.

 Cute little draft pony.

Riding on Grandpa Stevie's shoulders.  They wore matching shirts for the occasion.  Actually, my dad can be found wearing a plaid shirt (usually some variety of blue and brown) 99.5% of the time.  Plaid shirts are fondly referred to as a 'Stevie shirt.'