Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What I Didn't Know About The Toys...

No one told me that it would be a good idea to put away all of Ben's old toys BEFORE Christmas to make room for all the new ones. Caleb and I seriously bought the child only one gift, but he received TONS from the relatives. While home sick on Monday, I spent the day going through all of Ben's old toys, packing them away, disinfecting everything he or I laid hands on EVER and organizing all the new toys.

This was a project in and of itself: No need for more words. I think the pictures do it justice!

New Jersey Christmas and Birthday Celebrations!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Meets Happy Birthday, Benjamin!

Looks like Ben still has some learning to do about the real "Reason for the Season"! (He's our little destructor)

On Friday, after a not-so-quick trip to the Urgent Care (3 looong hours), we made the trek to New Jersey to visit our extended family. Benjamin got to spend some quality time with his great-grandfather Benke and great-grandmother Baba.

(Back Row- Caleb, Adrienne, Ben, Brother Philip, Grandad, Grammy, Uncle Frank, Aunt Juju, Cousin Kevin Front Row- Brother Scott, Baba, Great-Greandad, Cousin Brian's Fam- Suzanne, Brian and Baby Jackson)

We celebrated Ben's birthday and my parents' anniversary complete with cake and candles!

Ben wanted to grab the candles! (Notice the big 1 for him and the other three candles for my parents- celebrating the past, present and future.)

I helped him blow out the candle.

"Digging In" to the Carvel ice cream cake!

Look at that adorable milk mustache.

Benjamin and his cousin Jackson had a fun time playing together! The last time they saw each other, Benjamin was 2 months old and Jackson was 4 1/2 months old.

The initial meeting:

Boys will be boys....and these boys were into everything! I loved how Jackson ran right over to Great Grandad's "hydrolic" chair and made it almost tip over! Ben likes to push buttons, too:

I love this shot. My grandfather was so engaged in what was going on around him here. I could tell how proud he was of us and how thankful he was that we made the trip to visit:

Playing nicely (i.e not slapping each other or biting):

Of all the toys the little ones had, they both enjoyed being int he walker the best:

Christmas Morning- York, PA

Great Grandad and Great Gram's Christmas Tree

A present from Mama Joyce- one of Ben's daycare teachers!
(You can see in Ben's eyes how sick he was!)

Ben loves his Great Grandad!

A Giant Finding Nemo puzzle- Thanks Buna and Grammy

Ben's Christmas Laugh and Learn Table from his Great Grandparents.

Baltimore Christmas Morning

We all woke up Baltimore Christmas morning and ate a wonderful breakfast quiche prepared by MeeMom, complete with sparkling juice to toast the holiday. After some fabulous coffee, we gathered around the presents under the tree! Ben loved opening his gifts and playing with each and every one. As you can see from the pictures, he kept going back to his firetruck!

Our little "destructor" was still a little confused that we actually wanted him to tear the wrapping paper.

Ben likes to hold up what he has conquered.


PopPop and Caleb

Board puzzles make me very happy.

Firetruck time!

Christmas Eve Present

When I was little (Ok....even now), I could never wait until Christmas morning to open my presents. My mom started the tradition of letting me open one present on Christmas Eve night. This year, my mom wouldn't let me open a gift (I was very upset), but let Ben open one early. The gift turned out to be a hit. He played with it the entire trip. There truly is something special about being with a child for the holidays. They get So excited and that energy is contagious.

The Christmas Eve Present!

Ben loved his firetruck! Thanks MeeMom and PopPop.

I liked this picture with the fireplace in the background. MeeMom's house was built by her father. It is so nice to come home for the holidays to a house that has been in the family through many generations.
Even though I didn't get a present to open early, I was able to play with Ben's when he went to bed! (BTW, Baltimore Christmas was on Tuesday, December 23rd!)

High School "Reunion" Of Sorts

Last Monday night, I was able to go out with my high school friends. I got to pick the place, and I suggested Rainforest Cafe, but I meant Bahama Breeze. It ended up being a really good night. Dawn, Rachael, Elise and Jer were there. I've known Dawn and Jer since middle school and Rachael and Elise since high school. It was really good to catch up with each other.

Dawn, Elise, Jer, Rachael and Me

Jer, Elise and Dawn

Me, Rachael and Jer

Visit with Auntie Dawn

Dawn and I have been friends since 5th grade. It was so good to spend some time with her before the trip north! She came in on Friday night. You can read more about our visit with her on this post (Updated with a new picture!). Auntie Dawn, we miss you already. Thanks for spending time with us!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Still Sick- UPDATED

Still very very sick. Looks like I will be home another day from work. Not fun at all. This sickness is really kicking my butt. Go away, stupid sickness thing.

Tuesday Afternoon- I LOVE MUCINEX! I went to the doctor this morning. He said that I am on the verge of either 1) beating this cold or 2) having it turn into bronchitis or pneumonia. He wrote a prescription for me to fill if I don't beat this sickness in the next 24 hours. In the meantime, he recommended Mucinex and so far I'm a believer. The stupid bottle of pills cost $20.....I guess I should have figured that my $4 DayQuil might not cut it. Anyway, my nose is running more freely. I am still really exhausted and feel "under the weather". I got my doctor note for work and hope to return tomorrow.

On a side note, I am currently parked outside McDonald's with my dog and our home defense weapons. We got our second house showing phone call. YAY! We will be here for the next hour and a half....not YAY!

View from the sunroof of McDonald's

This is the life:

My trusty pooch:

Happy Birthday, Benjamin Asher!

Time flies when you're having fun!

Can you believe it?

I turned O-N-E!

December 28, 2008


SICK! This is no fun at all.

Ben started getting sick last Sunday when we arrived in MD. On Friday, it was so bad that we took him to the Urgent Care in PA. He had an upper respiratory infection and an ear infection (his first one, which is saying a lot because he is in daycare). As soon as he got the antibiotics into his little body, he was like a whole new Ben.

But now, I am sick with it. I am sneezing and congested and coughing and achy and sleepy. I know, poor me! Needless to say, I had to call out sick from work today. I plan to sit in a tub or in my bed all morning and afternoon.

Sick....no fun at all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas is Coming....

Can you feel it??

We are in the heart of our trip North and it is so exciting. I am SO looking forward to all the relatives loving on Ben!

My friend from Jacksonville drove to Raleigh Friday night. On Saturday, Dawn and I spent the day with Benjamin. We did a little shopping at Crabtree, I got my hair cut and had a nice lunch at the Cheesecake Factory...YUM! Then, that night, Caleb watched Ben while we "had a night on the town". We ate at the 42nd Street Oyster Bar (my favorite). The weather was really gross, so we changed our plans and ended right back at Crabtree mall again. This time, without Ben, we went "crazy" at this store called Lush. They sell these bath fizzies and bath bubble bars and I am A-D-I-C-T-E-D! We figured since we had a long drive the next morning and potential stress ahead, that we would call it a night at 8 PM. Dawn went to the guest bathroom and I went to my bathroom and I had my first experience with the fizzie. This thing actually put butter in the tub! Other ones put pudding, seaweed, rose pedals, glitter, etc. It was so cool. Look up the store. Find one near you....and indulge a little.

Sunday morning, we hit the road North. Ben and I rode with Dawn to Fredericksburg. Then, Caleb, Ben and I headed to North Beach to visit Joe, Christina and Baby Abigail. Abby is getting so big and she has such beautiful expressive eyes. Ben slapped her (not good)....we have some things to work on. Other than that, it was a great, relaxing trip. Oh! We also realized that we need to buy a chair so that Ben can sit at the table. Food was EVERYWHERE. My favorite part of this trip was when we left, I turned around to say good bye and I realized that the living room was TRASHED. (Joe's a little bit of a neat freak). Wrapping paper, pillows, Wii controlers and toys were all over. Get ready Joe.....your time will come!

We are now in Baltimore visiting with MeeMom, PopPop and Uncle Andrew. I'm a little nervous because Ben has a little cold. I'm hoping he can get over it soon and it doesn't make him too uncomfortable.

Pictures to come eventually....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Benjamin's First Christmas....with the Benke's!

Benjamin experienced his FIRST Christmas with his Beach Grandparents last week-end. Uncle Philip and Uncle Scott made the trek from Wilmington to Raleigh, too. It was a very nice, relaxing week-end. Ben did not understand how to open the gifts yet....he did not know why we were asking him to tear things....usually that gets a strong "No!". No, Ben, don't tear your books. No, don't tear the Bible....you get the point. But, he DID enjoy playing with the wrapping paper once it was on the floor. AND....he LOVES his new:


Grammy helped Ben tear off another ring on his Countdown to Christmas!

Grandad and Grammy

Uncle Philip

Uncle Scott read to Ben from MY old advent calendar! "A is for Angel, as sweet as can be, look how she smiles from the top of the tree. B is for Box with a big fancy bow. What could be hidden inside, do you know??"

It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Have You Gone To The Website?

My friend Kerry showed me this awesome website that you have to check out!
It's called "Is It Christmas?" :
Check it out!

They Have a Date!!

Loria and Brad have set a date for their wedding- August 22, 2009!!
(Loria, I love your password for the Bridesmaid only section. I got it on my second try! Remind me to tell you what I thought it was first!!)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Light War!

Joe's HouseVS.
Caleb's House

These two are obsessed with "one-upping" each other! Boys will be boys!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Abigail's Dedication

Baby Abigail Elizabeth is going to be dedicated this Sunday morning!!
"May the Lord give His angels charge over you, to guide you in all your ways" ~Psalm91:11

December 2008

Joe and Christina- We wish that we could be there in person. I actually looked at Caleb and asked if we could drive to MD for the day! (He said "No"!)
Thank you for asking us to be Abby's godparents. We are blessed to have you both in Ben's life and hope to encourage and support you, too! Here are a few things we commit today:
We are going to hold you, as parents, accountable as best we can. Our prayer is that Abby will know that you see her as a gift from God. May she see truth and love lived out in your life day to day! We pray for your marriage....as this is vital to the emotional and spiritual well being of your little girl. And lastly (I'm sure we're missing some), we will walk by you as you learn how to discipline, potty train, handle temper tantrums, love, let go, pray for, protect and provide for this little person. Oh yeah! One more thing...We promise to hug you/hold your hand when you give her away to marry Ben. Don't think of it as losing a little girl, but gaining a little boy!
Hope her special day is meaningful and memorable!

Prayers Please!

One of my best friends from college (Kelli) has been blogging about how her house was "broken" into while they were gone. She could really use any and all prayers that you could send her way (or encouragement). She is really consumed with fear. I can't imagine what it would be like to go through something like that. She has a little girl who is about 18 months. I wish there was something more that I could do to help. How do you help someone who lives a couple states away feel safe again? How do you tell them that they can go to sleep because "it will be alright?" You can't! So, I will be here praying like crazy for them.....

Here is their blog address for you to follow:


Kelli, Brandon & Maddie, we're thinking about you guys and wishing that this had never happened to you in the first palce. Please let us know if there is ANYTHING we can do from NC!