Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas celebrations!!!

Our many Christmas celebrations are finally behind us, much to the children's chagrin. They were definitely a lot of fun, but I'd have to say also very tiring. :-)

We started off with our annual "photo shoot" to make our Christmas card for the kids. The older the kids get, they do get a bit easier -- but it's still an exercise in patience. Here is the shot we went with and the final card:

Our first excurison was down to visit Great-Grandma Imogene and have a small Christmas celebration with her on Christmas Eve. They got some really nice clothes from Great-Grandma for Christmas. (They've already worn them by now!)

And they started playing with some old toy bricks at her house while we were there. They are officially the third generation now to play with these! They were bought for my Mom and her siblings, my sister and I played with them when we were little, and now my kiddos are playing with them. How neat is that?

Then it was time to wake up Christmas morning and see what Santa brought! The kids were ecstatic as their ONE Santa gift they requested was a Nintendo DSi - and Santa, of course, came through!

Santa really is the best. He even included several DS games, and the DSi's have hardly left the kids' sides from Christmas Day. Mom and Dad got them some presents too, of course, but nothing worthy of competing with the DSi's. :-)

Then, later that same day, the Benich family was coming to our house to celebrate Christmas. So we had quite a full house with about 16 people eating Christmas dinner at our house. Whew! Thankfully, everyone helped contribute to the meal. We probably all ate too much, but it was quite yummy.

And it was time for the kiddos to get to open presents AGAIN. Yes, you can be that all of them were very psyched. :-)

Then on Saturday, our next Christmas celebration was with the Ossanna side of the family (Ken's Mom's side of the family). Where there was another gift exchange for the little ones...

And our last and final celebration was with my side of the family at my sister's house.

Where we had our fourth and final Christmas celebration and gift exchange. The kids were so sad to see it end, but they had so much fun!

And thanks Papa and Grandma for the automatic Nerf gun for Kyle (not!), and Auntie Danah for yet another Webkinz for Delaney. :-)

And here are a few of the hilarious gifts received that night:

I received a plaque that says, "I love to give homemade gifts... which one of the children would you like?"

My mom received yet another Scrabble game (to my dad's chagrin).

Kenny received a t-shirt that says, "Behind every great man is a woman who is rolling her eyes." (I wonder why everyone laughed so hard?)

My dad received this t-shirt, with my Mom declaring that he can't wear it when he's out with her. I'll let you read it yourself.

And concluding the gift exchange was PaPa opening the largest gift of the evening, that the kids had wanted him to open since the beginning. Apparently though, a really naughty elf was just teasing PaPa and had wrapped and wrapped his gift many times, in increasingly larger boxes. When he finally got to the gift, it was an itty-bitty fishing item!!!

Too funny! After a lot more food, playing games and staying up too late -- the celebrations were officially over. I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas celebration (or celebrations) too, and we wish everyone a wonderful New Year!

Ken, Dani, Delaney & Kyle!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Benich Family Pictures!

We were able to organize a photo shoot with Kenny's side of the family (which is not easy, mind you, with everyone's crazy schedules). We mainly wanted an updated photo of everyone, since the last one was before Kyle was born and Kim was married (and of course, no Teresa or Michael). So basically, quite a while ago! We had our pictures taken at Portrait Innovations this past Sunday. With the holidays, it was quite hectic and they were a little behind -- but the photos turned out very well. Here is the entire clan:

Standing in the back starting at the left, we have Kenny's older sister Kim by her husband Ed. Then we have Kenny's younger sister Kristen by Danielle then Kenny at the end. Then starting at the left again in the front, we have Teresa (Kim & Ed's older daughter), then Kenny's dad Babe, then Kenny's mom Kathe who is holding Michael (Kim & Ed's younger son), then Delaney and Kyle at the end.

We also got a few "breakdown" shots of everyone. We got the grandparents with all the grandkids - aren't they cute?

Then Auntie Kristen with all her nieces and nephews - the kids were remarkably well-behaved during all these photo shoots!

The Burzynski family:

And, of course, our family:

Whew, glad that is over! Now, I wonder if I can talk MY side of the family into getting a photo shoot too?


Friday, December 11, 2009

The Bucket Brigade!

Kyle had his first Christmas program last night! The entire first grade body at Solon put on a Christmas show entitled The Bucket Brigade. The program was designed by the participating teachers at Solon, but they were based on children's books sharing a message of "helping" fill someone's bucket rather than "dipping" from someone's bucket. It was soooooo cute! I can't post as many of the pictures here as I would like because the school doesn't have permission to post every child's picture at the school online. So I can only post a few:

All the kids looked awesome in their "brigade" uniforms!

They even had "costume" changes, here is Kyle in his "new kid" outfit. They "filled" his bucket by being kind to the new kid and letting him play with them.

After singing several songs and showing many more ways to fill someone's bucket, even a way NOT to fill someone's bucket -- they switched back into their Brigade uniforms, and closed the program with more songs and blew us a kiss at the end. SO CUTE!!!

You did an awesome job, Kyle!!!

Luv, Your Family

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Feast for First Graders!

Kyle's class has had a fun-filled short 3-day week of activities at school this week. Yesterday, his class had a "Thanksgiving Feast" with stone soup, fruit, sandwiches, pumpkin muffins and more. I was privileged to get to help and was able to snap this quick picture of Kyle enjoying his feast. :-) The kids also had a lot of fun Thanksgiving games to play such as Corn Bowling and Stuff the Turkey! What a great time was had by all! Kyle is THANKFUL to have such a wonderful teacher!


Monday, November 9, 2009

LAM Benefit!

Thanks to all of our friends -- Petrov's, Lenzo's, Burian's, Smitka's, Churilla's, and Gour's -- who were able to support the Midwest LAM Foundation at their fundraiser. Although all of the Live auctions were way out of our league and most of the silent auctions as well -- we were able to snag one of the silent auctions: a Chicago Fire Package. It included:

  • two tickets to a 2010 Fire game

  • two authentic jerseys, signed by players

  • one soccer ball, signed by their star: Blanco

  • and an awesome Chicago Fire scarf

We were able to have such a fun weekend in Chicago with our friends. For those that came from further away (Petrov's & Gour's) -- they stayed at the same hotel with us, the Hotel Allegro. Saturday evening we had a nice supper out with the Petrov's (Morton IL) at the Kinzie Street Chop House. Then late Sunday morning, we had an awesome brunch with the Gour's (Elkhart IN) at the Grand Lux Cafe. Great food and great company!

We thank everyone who was able to make the trip to Chicago as well as everyone who couldn't attend but contributed financially to the cause. Also, those that wanted to attend but were turned away because the event sold out!

Love, the Benich's!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween weekend!

Did everyone have a wonderful Halloween weekend? We had a jam-packed weekend filled with fun Halloween activities and soccer games! Delaney's Three Lions team had a tournament in Indianapolis this past weekend, and all the kids got to have Halloween activities with the team at the hotel. Delaney said she had more fun this weekend, than if she had stayed home for Halloween! She was Cleopatra this year, and her coaches dressed up too as Mario & Luigi. Everyone had a great time! This is her team all dressed up:

And here is Kyle and Kenny with Delaney as well, Kyle was a ninja this year and Kenny was an escaped convict! :-)

They also did awards on Halloween night with all the festivities, and Delaney was honored to be in a tie for Player's Player of the Year (voted on by their teammates). What a great honor to be chosen!

And, of course, we had 4 soccer games this weekend for the tournament! Delaney played very well this tournament, and she was hustling all four games.

She was helping clearing those balls out when needed...

... as well as helping score some goals too!

I think the games ran like this:

7-1 (Delaney got 3 of the goals)
1-1 (Delaney scored a goal to tie in like the last five minutes, which kept us in the championship game)
1-0 Championship win!

The girls won their first tournament! What a way to end their first season - way to go girls! They were all so excited and proud to get their trophies.

Great job, Delaney! Now, if you're like me you didn't realize that soccer was a year-round sport! We get a little bit of a break before the indoor season starts. :-)


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Three Lions placed 2nd in the NISL League Tournament!!!

Delaney's Three Lion team placed 2nd in the NISL League Tournament this past weekend in Elkhart. Woo-hoo! Way to go girls! The weather was horrid on Saturday, and they had to play two games (of course). I swear the first one was sleeting, and the second one was definitely raining and QUITE COLD the entire time. But they won both games in nail-biting, no score games that went into overtime then penalty shootouts. Geez! Then Sunday, they played a tough game and lost -- but still placed 2nd for the tournament. Look at those excited girls receiving their trophies!

We got to spend the weekend with some friends in the area, and it was a great weekend visiting and hanging out with them. Sorry it's been so long since we've posted, but it's just been busy, busy, busy!!!! Hopefully, I'll have some great Halloween pictures to post next. :-)


Monday, October 5, 2009

Yet another soccer weekend!

We had yet another soccer weekend at the Benich household. Surprise, surprise -- right? Kyle's game Saturday morning was just a tad cold, but they had a great game. He's learning passing and working with his teammates getting the ball down the field.

He's getting time on both offense and defense. He had a great run to the goal and ALMOST got it in for a goal -- but it hit the post! Uggggggh!

Delaney's game on Sunday was a little nicer than Kyle's Saturday morning's chilly game, but it was still pretty cold. I guess our nice warm weather is officially gone. (* sigh *) They had a game all the way at Argos (I had no idea even where that was), and they played pretty well. Delaney got 1 goal and 2 assists, and they ended up winning 4-2. On her goal, she was able to sneak it in when the goalie just couldn't keep a hold of the ball -- way to go never giving up on that ball, Dee!

Her Three Lions team is doing very well playing together, and it will be a pleasure to see them keep growing in their soccer skills!

And if all that soccer wasn't enough, we had out-of-town family visiting from Wisconsin. So an impromptu bonfire/feast was planned at my sister's and parent's house after Delaney's game on Sunday. Mmmmmm! Lots of food, fun and visiting. We were able to snap a picture of all the great-grandkids together (they don't get to all hang out all that often with each other). From left to right: Connor, Parker, Shaylee, Jocelyn, Delaney and Kyle. I know I'm biased, but what cute kiddos!

And Danah and I are protesting our lawn-golf game loss... never played before -- humph. We think Ken and Graeme are pulling one over on us - rematch!!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy 14th Anniversary!

Can you believe we've been married for 14 years? Egads! It makes us sound so "old" to have been married that long. :-) HA!

On our ACTUAL anniversary night, September 2nd, my hubby planned us a romantic evening out in Chicago. It was a bit stressful figuring out if we could go, with a sick kid and homework issues, but once we straightened all that out -- we had a great time.

The weather was ABSOLUTELY gorgeous, sunny and warm -- a beautiful day. We walked around Navy Pier and took a lot of pictures.

And believe it or not, Kenny agreed to ride the Ferris Wheel! This, if you don't know, IS A BIG DEAL. Kenny isn't too fond of rides like this, so I was really surprised he volunteered to let us ride it. (I just had to promise not to rock the cart we were in.)

The view from the top was amazing! We were really up there.

We could even see the boat we were having our dinner cruise on from up there. Nice, huh?

We could finally board the boat after 6:00, the sun was starting to go down but it was still quite beautiful out.

Kenny had informed them it was our anniversary ahead of time, so we had an awesome dessert plate with Happy Anniversary in chocolate written around the edge of the plate.

Afterwards, we went back up to the observing deck and enjoyed the view.

The evening closed with a spectacular fireworks show off of Navy Pier. How cool is that?

It was a wonderful evening! Thanks, honey!!! :-)