Saturday, December 25, 2010

CHRISTmas eve madness!

well we had our "normal" CHRISTmas eve around here. we went to a CHRISTmas eve service & came home, got the kids in their brand new, matching pajamas & let them open the presents they got for one another. fun was had by all - doesnt it look like it was fun (ok rachel refused to smile).
yep that sums it up! & it was really the best i got out of them in regards to pictures.
ok for whatever reason blogger is acting weird about me uploading any more pictures so that will have to be done at a later time.
it's been a great day so far. i am getting ready to steam shrimp & broil some mahi. it's going to be a different type of CHRISTmas feast for us today...oh did i mention the steaks??!! and potatoes....and biscuits......

on a more "spiritual" note...we really are truly blessed to have a Savior who loves us regardless of our unrighteousness. His mercy & grace long endures when we do not.

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:4-7

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

i am in LOVE!!!

i cant help it. i'm in love. i'm in love with my kids. i'm in love with my life. i love that i get to be home with my children. that i am their teacher, their mentor, their confidant, their disciplinarian, their friend....their maid, their cook.......the list is long - but i love it! there is never a dull moment at our house. from a 15 year old girl who talks non-stop, to a 20 month old that never sits still and always has a smile on her face, to an 11 year old that cant quite seem to overcome her ADHD tendacies and settle on something to keep her busy, to an almost 4 year old boy (in 3 weeks) who throws ornaments into the tree & breaks the heirloom ones of his older sisters, to a 5 1/2 year old who is constantly singing about her love for the Lord, to a month old infant who constantly wants to nurse - constant busy-ness!!!! also did i mention a 1 year old yorkie that is always in the mix??!!! and 2 brother catties that need attention, a german shepherd that wants to be a pig, goat, chickens & ducks that just want to eat anytime you visit them in their pens. oh and a husband who doesnt like noise or clutter or the hectic pace of a life off of a schedule.......
but regardless......a good life that i love!

"With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation." Isaiah 12:3

Asher is very happy with his decision to put his Easter tie on Levi. there is also a balloon on a string in the mix there. i love my boys!!!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

locks of love

i am not a fan of cutting my children's hair. not even my boys', but especially not my girls. for whatever reason the scripture in 1 Corinthians sticks with me:
"But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering." 1 Corinthians 11:15. (KJV)
but i dont want to be legalistic or drive my children to wrath over things that will not affect them eternally. so with that thought we allowed rachel & abigail grace to cut their hair. abigail grace hasnt had a hair cut....a real hair cut ever. she has had a trim....but never of significance. i think it was 3 years ago that rachel cut her hair this short & last did locks of love. and of course locks of love will use their hair to make wigs for children with alopecia & cancers that make their hair fall out.
anyway, here is a before & an after shot of the girls with their new shorter looks....still cute...and still enough of a covering.

this picture was on the camera of elizabeth. she is tired but so beautiful. she doesnt want to cut her hair! which i'm glad. she is growing up so fast! but then again they all are.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

it's not ok

why do i say that? "it's ok."
especially when inside i am crying and saying
"it's not ok..i should matter to you enough....."
maybe i'm just way hormonal still. it's only been 3 1/2 weeks.
i'm sick with bronchitis/asthma. my incision inside hurts worse than it did after surgery just from all of the coughing. i only got 3 hours of sleep if that last night because Levi couldnt get comfortable. he is still a lazy eater. i have to work for an hour at a time to get him to get full. but i know this will pass.

anyway, the christmas tree is up. the kids are excited. Asher wants to know when the presents will be under the tree. he said he is ready to rip open all the presents. needless to say the presents wont be out until christmas day.

i really dont have that much to be unhappy about with this little guy, here, healthy, & perfect. unfortunately my heart is just heavy. it's just the season mixed with the emotions. but again this will pass.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nathan "Levi"

Levi arrived @ 9:33AM on Saturday, November 13, 2010.
He was taken by c-section (notice his perfect head).
He weighed 7lbs 5ozs & was 20 inches long at birth.
We are all madly in love.

There will be more family pictures to follow when I am not so tired and have recooperated a bit more. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

bye-bye october

well with the end of october of course comes costumes & candy. since clay & the 2 big girls were in belize, central america i had the privilege of doing halloween all alone with these 3 little wild ones. it was a good day. we had a spider girl, spiderman & the cutest giraffe i've ever seen. abigail wasnt all that big on the pictures...i think she felt foolish & that feeling doesnt set well with her....but then again...who really likes feeling foolish?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

into the mystic

(you have to pause the player at the bottom to hear this song)

i am having a difficult time with the reality of 40 years old hitting me next week. how did this happen? where did time go? who am i? what will my life be like in 10 more years. 30 was bad. 40 is going to be barely breathable. i'm already starting to hyperventilate. i've been contemplating it this whole year. i cant stop time. i realize that....but still - 40....i have a lot of blessings in my life - of that i am positive. the hard time dealing has nothing to do with the many blessings.
it has to do with the fact that time is racing sand between my fingers. or better yet like the's uncontainable. time is uncontainable. i dont want to waste it. i dont want 20 more years to fly by & have no clue where the time be uncomfortable in my skin, to be lonely & old.

i know i cant change time moving, but i can learn to make the best of it - better than i have the last 40.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

A Time for Everything

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

What does the worker gain from his toil?
I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;
yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.
I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.
And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
I thought in my heart, "God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed."

I also thought, "As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.
Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other.
All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless.
All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.
Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?"

So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot.
For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?"

Friday, October 22, 2010

kids @ the mall & notifications.

this picture was taken at the mall in a photo booth to keep the kids occupied while I was searching for the lost van keys....that the manager of macy's had. thank goodness we were able to reclaim them. it was a long night & i got this great picture of the kids. by far one of my favorite pictures ever of the kids.

so i think i've made the decision to make this blog known to my family. i did have it listed on my info page on facebook but i am no longer on facebook and feel like this will be a better avenue for my family to see the goings on here when i post if they want to. plus my mother has never been on facebook so she can easily bookmark this page if she wants to and wont feel like i'm leaving her out. i've been pretty slack about sending pictures in email since joining facebook.
i never really made it a big deal because it's just a personal journal to me. i have always thought blogs were a bit, who cares about the silliness of my family life? but that's the beauty of it i guess....if they dont want to read it, they dont have to. i just dont want people to read it & think i'm being obnoxious. it's just a personal journal for myself & the kids. i can easily print it into a book. it helps me keep a record. clay reads it occasionally. he's not a big computer/internet person but he's ok with this. he has always hated facebook anyway. it's not a statement or opinion  - just a record of our lives & there is no dialogue so it shouldnt get me in trouble right? we will see.

i guess i will take a deep breath & send out a notification. wish me the best!

Monday, October 11, 2010


it wont be long now!! only 6-7 more weeks. I cant wait to meet this little man!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wild ones!

you can check out my other videos at the following youtube website:

for whatever reason i cant get the video bar on the side of the blog to update anymore with the newer videos so you can subscribe to my youtube channel if you want!

Monday, September 27, 2010


i reread my last post. my grammar is atrocious. oh will wait until another day. hope all is well in your life.

i'm hijacking this from Jenny's blog as it resonates:

James 1:27 - "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

knit caps & birthdays.

so yup i knitted this little hat all by myself. i'm feeling quite crafty these days as well as a bit of nesting is kicking in. the hat looks bigger on the picture but it fits the doll babies we have in the house. i cant wait for Levi to get here.

my Dad just celebrated his birthday - 64. I cant believe it. Here is him & my mom. they look happy. time slips away.......

and here is a picture of all the rest of the "Benenhaley" clan minus myself & my family. makes me sad but so happy at the same time.....they all look so good & happy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

a small vent

why am i considered intolerant because i refuse to send my children to public school?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

too cool for school!

so esther thought she was too cute last night & quite frankly she is always too cute! she was up late last night... like up until about 10:30PM. that's late for her. but she wasnt ready at the normal 7-8pm bed time. so she stayed up & was completely pleasant the whole time. i mean, look at her.....who wouldnt want that little cutie up with them at night keeping them company??

Monday, August 9, 2010


this is Esther's twin. seriously Levi's profile is identical to Esther's.
the picture below is what makes him not identical to Esther.

now i'm just very anxious to get him here and hold him.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

happy faced pumpkin & boy!

well we carved up the pumpkin. and when i say we i mean WE!! notice all the little sweet heads together. i really think this is my most favorite picture of all time with my children all together. cant see their faces but they are all looking & busy. to me this is the epitomy of homeschooling....of learning together....working together. they all had a ball & took part in it. now if you know know we dont have a lot of these types of moments as i am too OCD to allow this kind of "learning". it's too disorderly & chaotic...but today i did good!

so this is my happy boy with his happy faced pumpkin. i am so not big on halloween (actually i despise halloween except for the dress up & the candy)...but we DO NOT carve out jack o'lanterns as a rule at our house. but i figured it wasnt halloween & it wasnt a jack o' was just a happy faced pumpkin to my boy. nothing spooky about it. and in a week the happy faced pumpkin will probably be food for my pig & goat.

and seriously i couldnt resist. i had to put this picture on here. people can not believe when they hear that elizabeth gives us attitude...MAJOR ATTITUDE....and most of the time...over nothing. i'm not really sure what this particular attitude issue was over but i decided to snap a picture. she, of course, wasnt pleased when i told her that i was taking the picture to show people when they didnt believe me when i told them she gave attitude. oh well. i'm sure it wasnt the nicest thing i could have done but oh well. i did it. at least she's not giving me one of her looks that i'm surprised hasn't killed me yet! oh my sweet elizabeth - i love you so much! you remind me of myself at your age. and i'm surprised i survived!

so now i will leave you with a song & a picture.

Cowboys ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold. 
They'd rather give you a song than diamonds or gold.
Lonestar belt buckles and old faded levis,
And each night begins a new day.
If you don't understand him, an' he don't die young,
He'll prob'ly just ride away.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
Don't let 'em pick guitars or drive them old trucks.
Let 'em be doctors and lawyers and such.
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone.
Even with someone they love.

Cowboys like smokey old pool rooms and clear mountain mornings,
Little warm puppies and children and girls of the night.
Them that don't know him won't like him and them that do,
Sometimes won't know how to take him.
He ain't wrong, he's just different but his pride won't let him,
Do things to make you think he's right.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
Don't let 'em pick guitars or drive them old trucks.
Let 'em be doctors and lawyers and such.
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone.
Even with someone they love.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


well the harvest is in full swing here!  actually it's mostly over here @ our house as i just told clay he could mow the garden under except for the pumpkins & cucumbers. but the pumpkins are starting to come in. this is the first one & asher has been waiting on pumpkins. he is wanting us to carve a smiley face in it. he is very happy. it weighs as much as he does...actually more. so i will help him carve this & i will make a pie or two! i have never made a pumpkin pie or actually had pumpkins grow well so this is a bit exciting for me as well.
and i dont know what you think, but my baby boy surely does look like a big boy up on his pumpkin in the last picture. it makes me want to cry because he is growing up so fast. i guess it is a good thing with a baby coming, but it still makes me sad. he has been my baby boy for so long. i never want that to change. boys are awesome!

Friday, July 23, 2010

pictures of the birthday & other stuff

Elizabeth's birthday was a success. she was opening cards & enjoying the gifts of money & such. she received a set of sparring gear for karate. a pair of new vans (sneakers) and an outing of horseback riding from Mommy & Daddy. she received quite a bit of money from friends & family. my parents (Memeer & Papa) gave her money & a beautiful little silver bracelet & a new outfit. seeing that Elizabeth is our one of my fashionistas...that gift was right up her alley.

Abigial was very excited for Elizabeth.

Esther was thrilled to be part of the whole deal! She was wearing an outfit from Hawaii that our friends JD & Jenny gave Abigail years ago and she received quite a bit of attention because of it. I'm sure it helps that she looks a bit like cindy loo from whoville! pretty darn cute in my opinion.

Asher had just woken up before we came into Outback & he was getting wound up about this time. He barely ate a thing but enjoyed his coke very much.
This was me getting out of the van & making sure children didnt get run over. Clay thought it was the appropriate time to snap a picture. We had yet to discuss the fact that he was LATE & had kept us waiting do to work. but the main reason i look so unhappy is, quite frankly i despise having my picture made. now if i die this will be the last picture they have of me to remember me by.....ok, i kind of fits my personality.

this was at home blowing out the candles & having the ever anticipated cake!


one morning about 3 weeks ago Abigail, Asher & I got up around 6:45 AM and picked peas. unknowingly to me....clay was snapping pictures....obviously not of my good side (seriously is my butt really that big?? ok dont answer...and i was wearing black too! whoever said it was slimming has no clue what they were talking about.).
anyway the kids absolutely love getting into the garden & helping....these 2 kids....not my 2 big way!!! It was probably one of my best memories of this summer. Abigail calls the produce that we get names like "big boy", "little baby", "big red" (when it comes to tomatoes anyway)...she is so funny. but they are really helpful.

and to finish off my week...Asher asked for a "warrior" cut. it killed me to allow it. i love his long locks. (they are a bit sweaty as our a/c had been out all day). but he knows his own mind & really wanted his hair cut short like a "warrior". he even told the girl who cut it..."no spikes, just short". he would have been fine with high & tight but he at least compromised as thankfully he really doesnt know what "high & tight" means. he was just happy with the short hair. so now my sweet baby boy is officially a big boy...or still my little man!

for the record...from this day forward his hair is growing back out!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

happy birthday Elizabeth!!

today is elizabeth's birthday. once clay gives me the pictures from this evening off of his camera i will post "her" story with the pictures.

also our a/c was out when we got home from celebrating. needless to say, it's hot & i'm tired.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


i made 13 1/2 quarts of salsa...oh SMELLS SO GOOD!!!!! 12 are in quart jars & i have 3 in pint jars. it has been a lot of work but so worth it. and i made my SPICY!! SUPER SPICY!!! i like it that way. but that's me. plus i know that the kids wont eat it anyway. oh i only have 13 quarts of tomatoes to process by the weekend & i am done for the summer (i think). it makes me feel so good to have all these pretty jars of tomatoes, pickles & salsa put up for the winter. it's not much...but it's better than the nothing i have done in years past...oh & i have peas & lima beans in the freezer with some okra & tomato mix. it's going to be a chili & vegetable soup kind of winter!

this picture is a random picture of abigail grace sleeping last month. i want to "pass out" like that at this point! i'm tired!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

the goings on around here!

so this is what i found today when i went to get esther up from her nap.... a naked bum sticking up. she is so beautiful! she is very unapologetic concerning her nakedness. i like that about her!

then i canned 12 1/2 quarts of tomatoes. i now have like 27 1/2 quarts left to go. it's so exciting. i know i'm so geeky considering this excites me but it does.....think about the soup & spaghetti & lasagna & chili i can make....yummy!!!! & the tomatoes were free....raised in my own garden!!! and it's gotten so much easier. i did learn the trick to put the tomatoes in boiling hot water for about 30-45 seconds then to move them over to ice cold water...the skins just slide right off. i have been using a knife and peeling them all by hand...i know it doesnt look like much but those 12 1/2 quarts took about 200 tomatoes....seriously...

and this is the result of standing on my feet all day......ugly, ogre looking feet. and sadly this will only get much worse by the time the baby gets here. but i will survive. it means good weight loss within the first 2 weeks of delivery also!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

pickles! check!

this is what i did ALL DAY LONG!!! my feet are HUGE!! oh well. it is so rewarding. tomorrow & the next week or two i will be putting away a ton of tomatoes. i'm also going to try corn - well to freeze it. i'm so excited but again it's so much work. hope you are having a productive summer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

oh what a day!

ok this is my feet & legs after a long busy day. and i am only 5 months pregnant. rachel said "ewww, elephant ankles".  my kids are very real with me. abigail just told me that a lady singing (jewel) on tv must not have any kids. clay & i asked her why & she said "because she is skinny". i tried to explain to her that just because a lady was skinny it didnt mean she didnt have children.  so of course i had to push it - and i asked for it. i said "is mommy always fat when there isnt a baby in my belly?" she said "yep!" but then she followed it up with this.....and of course this made it all worth it.....she said "but mama you are still my bestest." and she just giggled. she is such a sweet, completely honest, child!

the kids (well abigail, elizabeth & rachel - who assisted) attended a bible camp this week. so tonight was family night. we took side dishes & dessert & went to listen to the songs & such that they learned this week. it had just started and people were milling about. they were getting ready to serve the food. we were sitting at the tables where everyone would be eating & we were talking amongst ourselves - clay, rachel, elizabeth, esther & me. abigail & asher were suppose to be swinging on the little swing set a few feet away. anyway david asher had decided to take a mere 3 feet away from the table we were sitting at, and in front of God & everybody, decided to drop his pants & pee right there in the dirt....WHERE PEOPLE WERE GOING TO BE EATING.  i thought i was going to die of embarrassment. he seriously didnt think anything of it. i asked rachel if she was ready to leave & she said yes. i said "what you arent comfortable?" she said "no i'm comfortable, it's them (pointing to abigail & asher) who are a bit too comfortable."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

so i've been a bit busy!!!

i have been busy picking lima beans (well clay did pick most of these)......the family shelled them...i didnt have too. but this bowl is all that came out of these empty shells. isnt that a lot of work for so little pay off? they are cooking  - well being blanched now on the stove & they smell SOOOOOOOOOO good!!!! I think will end up with at least 5 quart bags in my freezer of them.

now all we have to do is shell these bad boys....well field peas!! this are just as delicious as the lima beans & well worth the effort. i've already put up 2 quarts of these. i'm hoping for at least 2 more & then we should get one more good picking off the plants. plus i was able to give my friend Jenny a mess of them.
i also need to peel & cut up tomatoes to can them. yep that's a whole lot of tomatoes. that is just 2 days worth & that doesnt include the bucket of cherry tomatoes sitting in the refrigerator. i'm hoping to get at least 8 quart jars of canned tomatoes this year. we will see. but this is what i am doing over the next few days. oh did you notice all the cucumbers??? yes well that's about 10lbs of cucumbers. i am planning on pickling about 4 quarts of them. i'm hoping it will be worth my effort. i have never done that before.

and yes you counted correctly...that is 5 watermelons. that doesnt include the one i already cut up & we engorged on at supper tonight. it probably was the best watermelon we have ever gotten out of the garden. it was the stripped kind like the one on top in the wheelbarrow. it has been in the refrigerator for 3 days & was so worth it. cant wait for breakfast tomorrow morning. i know what i'm having. so i guess in certain terms...we are enjoying our summer...even if it's work...but it's good work. tasty work & will totally pay off in the winter. i wish there was a way to save the watermelon & cantaloupe.