Friday, July 31, 2009

Geof. wrote our annual Family Newsletter for his Dad's family reunion. I thought it would be fun to share.

Dear Bennett family of the West,

Well, the Geoffrey and Darla Bennett family have had a somewhat tumultuous year. As with most citizens of the world, the change in the economic climate allowed us to re-analyze our family’s goals and make the following changes:

Cole decided he’d go back to school and continue his educational pursuits. He enjoyed attending school in Washington and then making a smooth transition into the all day kindergarten program back here in Richmond, VA. After Cole’s father swindled a local kid at a garage sale for a new bike Cole has not sat still. He’ll ride his bike any chance he gets; day, night, dusk, when we’re trying to get in the car, when he’s supposed to be cleaning his room, etc… Cole is so good on his bike he can tease his sister while riding with no hands. Multi Tasker. Cole is our sweet boy who always keeps us on our toes as well as on our knees.

Dayne has decided that this plane of existence is dull, and therefore is often in another dimension. She enjoys her own set of rules and listens to voices of authority she deems worthy of her time. While her mother and I are not among those voices, we luckily are brought into Dayne’s circle of love. Dayners (as we so lovingly refer to her)is the funniest, singingest, most independent girl we’ve ever seen. Each morning she comes into our room and informs us that she is hungry and wants to eat. I usually do what she asks because she’s cute and gives the best hugs ever.

June is the most spoiled of all children. We, as a collective family, do as June desires. She is a child that does not like being told no or being held back from doing anything. June has begun to climb on everything she can find, which has earned her lots of welts on the head. Currently the rest of the family is working with a therapist to come up with ways of resisting doing whatever she wants, and he says that we’re close to making a real breakthrough.

Darla and I have had a crazy time over the past while. Darla has put our new little rental home in order and is busily painting all of the rooms. She’s preparing to run a half marathon in Sept. and is making me look like an old man. In February, I quit my job as a pilot. Although I loved sitting in ghetto hotels and airports all day eating pretzels when I could sneak them past the aged flight attendants, we figured it was time to make more than minimum wage. So I headed back to Richmond to work with a company doing real estate appraisal. Much better. Same bed every night and the kids age more slowly.

We love the East and were even able to sit at the base of the Washington Monument this year to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July. Sorry we couldn’t see you guys this year but as always we love you and want you to know you’re always welcome to come visit. We’re ridiculously close to a number of historical and fascinating sites.

Hope to see you all soon!!

Love,

The Geof., Darla, Cole, Dayne, and June Bennett clan July 2009

Bill Cosby

Moving on...let's lighten things up a bit. (; I do have wonderful friends and family, however, and I thank you for all your words of wisdom! Wow!! I really do have a love/hate relationship with the whole online/blogging/facebook/waste your time part of my life, but I also know that it's almost essential to my sanity. To be able to get ideas and advice, and words of love from someone clear across the world? That's amazing! Thank you, thank you.
This morning I was driving to my friend's house to pick up her little boys since her back went out (poor thing! She's moving in 2 weeks and can't even move! Suggestions?), and I heard a little stint (right word?) from Bill Cosby on one of the radio stations. He was saying something funny, like, "What are the 2 things black people won't tell you?", and then went on to say, "They won't tell you your hot sauce is too hot, and they won't tell you if you're hitting on a transvestite". He then followed that with a story about transvestites. Pretty funny. Anyway, it got me thinking about Bill Cosby and I read a few (very short) articles about him. I love this guy! He's incredible! I'm determined to read more about him and his wonderful parenting style. Not only is he a great example to the black community (read more here), he's also not afraid to say what he thinks-at all-no matter what! Can't we all be a little bit more like that?!
So-there you go. Love Bill Cosby. I've also been thinking a lot about free agency lately. That'll be in my next post. Watch more Bill Cosby here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I _______ my children

If you don't want to read my somewhat psychotic post, then just scroll down. Enjoy the pic of the cockroach I caught last night and Geof. forgot to flush until this morning, the trip to the berry farm, June's enormous goose egg she got from climbing on top of her toy car last night, and falling off onto the pavement (and then later tripping down a paved path by the river earlier today, hitting the same spot-poor girl!), and of course, our lovely, hysterical Dayne, entertaining us all on the tramp. Enjoy the pics and don't read the rest if you don't care to know...
I'm not a writer. I wish I was. I do appreciate and envy those who have the perfect word and way of expressing themselves. I've been a mess lately-wanting to post, but not knowing how to articulate it. You see, this post really is for me, not for you. I guess this blog has become more of a journal for me, and I need it, I crave it. However, my feelings these last 2-3 weeks have been some of the darkest, saddest, most alone feelings I've had since becoming a mother...and do I really want to post about that? Don't we all blog when we're feeling great about ourselves, when life's just "working out"? Isn't it kind of fun to post great pics of fun places we've been and cute things our kids say, and romantic gestures our husband shows us? That does build one's self image, doesn't it? Oh, for sure it does.

However, I've been a mean, nasty, you know what, lately. Rhymes with "witch". Geof. even admitted to daydreaming today of leaving me and the kids and sailing around the world (a dream of his that I used to be part of). And quite frankly, I couldn't even feel sorry for myself for him making that statement, or give him a nasty face and walk away waiting for an apology. I deserve it. The old saying, "If mama's not happy, no body's happy" COULDN'T be MORE TRUE!! Yes, we have been outside doing things I love; picking berries, going to the river, taking walks...but I've felt so empty doing them all.
I've felt like screaming, "what's the answer, God?! Tell me what to do!!", but I know what to do (mostly). I know what changes I can make in order to have PEACE. To feel LOVE. Now, if I wasn't so lazy, and stubborn, and carnal, it'd be but a moment and I'd be back into the swing of things. But for now, I'll slowly trudge myself out of this muck. I am alive, not dead, yet. I still care about my kids and their well-being. I still KNOW I married the best man I could marry and I really don't deserve him. And deep down, I know he wouldn't be happy if he left us..maybe for a week or so, but then he'd come back. But I need him back now-as he does me.
























































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Monday, July 20, 2009

this is why you're fat-really?

www.thisiswhyyourefat.com. Check it out. Too funny what people find appealing..

Saturday, July 18, 2009

more creativity

This was last week sometime, during the girls nap. Hm..what to do, mom? So he went out and dug in the dirt. Yay for dirt and shovels!





And June, having discovered my make-up bag, decided that putting mascara on your lips was a lot more fun than on your eyes. And she did all this right out in the open family room..don't know why we didn't catch on to what was happening. Dayne's just happy it wasn't her getting caught. She's smart, she finds a closet to hide in to do her make-up.


I told June to smile for the pic, here's the result.





videoCole had his good friend Michael over for a sleepover last night. He was in heaven! Michael's so good for Cole. They were on the trampoline for a good part of the night (yes, it was dark) doing ninja moves and jump kicks at each other. Cole couldn't of been happier..neither could I.
~just realized this video is too dark to see. The boys were sweating like crazy when they came in!

Monday, July 13, 2009

creativity

We went down to the river as a fam and celebrated June's bday. Wonderful, as usual. The water is slowly getting more and more shallow..., so we'll try and take advantage of it before it gets too mucky and stops moving/gets gross and stagnant. I realize, from looking at other people's blogs, that they probably don't have as many pics of their husbands half naked. I do it ONLY because we swim a lot..nothing more. (other than the fact that Geof. is HOT in a swimsuit).





Can't get too much of this, right? I know, I know..barf.



All



three

kids flexing!!







It's so warm! Why aren't we there now, I'm thinking..?



I called Comcast a few days ago and cancelled cable, completely. Nothing but fuzz. It's great. Even Geof. who appreciates watching sports now and then was glad we did it. Now we don't have to find Cole vegged out in front of the T.V. watching those ridiculous preteen Disney and Nickelodeon shows depicting adults as complete morons, and the teenagers as great big, smart, know-it-alls!














And you know what, the change has brought a sense of creativity into our home again (just what I wanted). Cole's discovered that Jenga blocks can be really fun (I've been trying forever to get him into building-I LOVED building as a kid). It's pure bliss to see a kid playing by himself for a good hour-which in Cole's case doesn't happen very often. Love you Cole. (;











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Friday, July 10, 2009

If you build it, won't they come?


Before I left to come back to Richmond, my good friend Nikki gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts ever. It's almost as if she'd figured me out in the short time we'd come to know eachother. She knew I loved all the flowers she had around her perfect little house, so she gave me some bulbs to plant when I moved in (the kids planted them, btw, and they're coming up all over-in the strangest places-it's really quite funny). She also gave me Sour Patch Kids, noticing that I devoured quite a bit when I was at her house one time, and thought I might need a bag to myself (I can't eat those like I used to-my teeth start hurting almost instantly, dang it!). She'd overheard me say at one point that the brown tootsie roll pops are my favorite-and a bunch of those were found in my gift bag-it was great! I won't forget the darling head bands that I'd mentioned I wanted to buy-the kind with the great big flowers on them, you know? And there they were-in my gift from Nikki! How perfect was she to know all these things about me?! And lastly (the reason for the pic at the top of this post), she included a hummingbird feeder. She knew I LOVED that she had one right outside her kitchen window and could watch hummingbirds come along flapping their wings at an astonishing rate-all while she hummed along doing dishes (am I right, Nikki? (;
As soon as we got here, I bought some hummingbird juice, filled up the feeder, and stuck in right outside MY kitchen window..., and waited, and waited. Nothing. NOTHING! It's been what-almost 2 months? I even emptied the feeder out, cleaned it, and put more in (even though the bottle said that was unnecessary). So I'm a little sad no little hummingbirds have come across the endless meal waiting for them in my back window. What do I do? Any suggestions?!
Thank you, by the way, Nikki-for possibly the most thoughtful gift ever received.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More of D.C.

Great news, Dayne's officially potty-trained-through the night!! She's my first kid and I think Cole might be close behind her. Yea!! I don't know how it happened, but it finally just clicked with her. I guess she cared enough to do it. Thank heaven's for us. The first thing Geof. said was, "This is gonna save us so much money". We'll have to wait until Cole and June are completely diaper free..and then we really will be saving money. I really hate buying diapers. Hm...what else is new with us? Well, I don't think I mentioned how PERFECT our weather has been lately! The whole time we were up in D.C. it was nice and sunny, but with a wonderful cool breeze-very unusual for this time of year. I'm not complaining, it was so great! My cousin Ivy, who lives real close to D.C. and works there..., and is also the designated tour guide whenever someone comes in town, kept telling us about different exhibits and museums that we'd never heard of before. There's SO much to do there-and so much is free!! It's the perfect place to live when you're dating-that's what I think. Non-stop fun-very little cost. Almost like Provo, but...much cooler. (;





Here's Amy showing her continued affection towards babies. This one happens to be Ivy's Christian.









I believe Daph found this crazy huge bug (dead, fortunately..so we could all play with it). Cole was so excited and had to get a pic with it. Did I mention how much energy this kid has?!! We walked around ALL day-all over! It was around 9:30 when we starting trekking our way back to the Metro station to take it back to our cars. It was quite the walk. We were all exhausted. Not Cole. He couldn't, for the life of him, walk in a straight line. He climbed on everything in sight. He jumped off things, scaled up things..it was amazing. I think there's a new sport similar to what he was doing. Freestyle walking? Extreme walking? I dunno..but it was crazy.



Pretty Amy highlighted in orange. Fun camera feature!






We ate lunch here- The American Indian Museum. It's a beautiful museum and has a yummy restaurant with great vegetarian choices. mmm...I love food!















Ivy's little sister Natalie (pictured holding June in mid-sentence) is visiting from Cali. for a while to help Ivy and Shane out with Christian. Can't believe how much she's changed (those 12 and 13 yr. olds are not babies anymore!).















This picture does not even come close to showing you how many people were camped out waiting (2 hours early, mind you) for the fireworks to start. It was insane! I usually don't like crowds like this, but it was a lot of fun. The kids stayed close which kept me from pulling my hair out in anxiety.


Geof. loves this pic because we were there- watching the fireworks right underneath the Washington Monument! Truly surreal. I love this pic because, come on, look at Geof.'s hot bod! (;













Shane met us that night to watch fireworks (lots of studying when you're in law school, right?).















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Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July, D.C., part I


Here's some pics. Don't even have time right now to post these..so not much description. Stayed up in D.C. this past weekend. Loved it! My cousin Ivy's neighbor let us stay in her apt. while she and her fam were outta town. Lucky for us! On Friday we went to Great Falls National Park (I think that's the name) which is beautiful-Geof. and I were jealous of the kayakers on the river. The next day (the 4th) we took the Metro into the city and started the morning out watching the 4th of July parade. The kids were in HEAVEN!




Daphne's 4th attire.



The beautiful Potomac River!




Geof. was a bit jealous of the mtn. bikers and kayakers playing around the park on Friday. Soon Geof., soon..



























This is the house where I lived for a short year when my family moved out to northern VA (Springville..., or was it Springfield?) when I was 5. The house is still as beautiful as I remembered, but a bit smaller. Isn't that how it always is?











Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our June turns 2 today! I would say, "I can't believe it!"..., but I do. Time flies and at the same time moves very s l o w l y when you're raising small children. We sure love our little June-bug, even if she IS transforming into some kind of high pitch, screaming, spoiled, "mine, mine!" type monster. At the same time, she's still the best snuggler, loves giving us all kisses after prayers, says "shoes" in the most adorable voice ever, laughs hysterically at herself and her siblings, and still shows a significant amount of favor towards her favorite...me. (:

I'd post about our 4th of July weekend in D.C., but it'll have to wait until later. Just a quick Dayne quote from today..
~When we got home from D.C., the kids were all starving of course, and I was rummaging through the fridge for something to make and Dayne calls out, "Mom, I want a girl cheese sandwich, and a boy cheese sandwich."
Too funny!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

They're here!

My older sister (let me just state for the record that everyone thinks she's younger than me..great) Amy felt bad that she never was able to come visit us when we lived in Richmond before, so as soon as we found out we were moving back, her husband Steve was online looking for flights out. They surprised Daphne, my niece, and she and Amy flew out Sat. I drove up to D.C. by myself (so nice!), went to IKEA, went to the D.C. LDS temple, and savored the alone, quiet time.



Sunday after naps, we went here. We talk about Maymont all the time and are thrilled to be able to show it off to anyone new in town. And we love that it's free (not for long I heard)! Amy and Daph were quite impressed.
On Tuesday night, we brought them here and had a close to perfect evening talking and swimming in the warm river. Soooo great!!

The above pics were taken last night when we went down to a different part of the river to walk down the canal. Geof. saw this group of drunk teenagers rope jumping off this bridge, and immediately tore his shirt off and ran in with Cole following closely behind.
Can you see little Cole swinging from the rope? I wish I knew how to circle him and write on the actual picture itself. He was hilarious! Too bad all those kids around him couldn't keep their language cleaner!






After waiting for what seemed like forever for Geof. to have his turn to jump, we walked over to this bridge that Richmond city has redone into a sort of civil war monument. As you walk along the bridge, little quotes are inlayed (word?) in the bridge itself describing the feelings of local Richmond residents and national leaders when Richmond fell (when the North took over) and was burned.



Just trying to get a normal pic, Cole!! I'm sure he was driving Daph NUTS!





Daphne contemplating what all happened here. (; She's 12 now, so I could be wrong on her thoughts...It's crazy how different she's become!

More pics of the amazing James River.



Amy was scared to death that Dayne or June especially, would jump through the bars. Yes, a few times they came close. Note that in one hand I'm holding on t0 June who was throwing a fit, and with the other, trying to keep Dayne from getting too close.