Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Our Last Family Post Was In August?

Since our last post was August 30, 2014 -- I think that is a definitive indication that things are way too crazy right now here in the Benich household.  Between soccer, homework, and bedroom remodels for the kids... there has been absolutely no time for anything lately.

Delaney's soccer season with Crown Point High School ended very well.  They were the 2014 Sectional Champions.  Dee was excited to be a part of the winning sectional team now for two years in a row.

They also made a great showing at Regionals, winning their first semi-regional game against Clark 6-0.  Delaney got 2 goals and 1 assist in the game, and she was named Player of the Game on the radio broadcast.  Kenny's sister Kim and her kids were listening and shared all the radio mentions of Delaney with us.  Teresa and Michael were apparently quite excited every time they heard Dee's name!  They then played Lake Central in the final game and only lost 2-1; it was a very close game.  Delaney ended the season with 11 goals and 4 assists.  Great job, Dee!!!

We also celebrated our 19th anniversary during her CP season with a quick dinner out then on to Delaney's CP game at LaPorte.  They won 9-0, a good anniversary present.  And Kenny also attended his 20 year homecoming at Saint Joseph's College.  Geez, 19 and 20 -- look at those numbers! 

Delaney has been wanting to update her room for quite a while now.  With CP soccer season having practice after almost every single school day and some Saturdays, and even weekend games -- Ken and I were reluctant to start until the season ended.  Now that it was officially over, we started the kids' room remodels.  Kyle's room went first, much to Dee's chagrin, because he was getting a lot of her old furniture.  So, we basically tore his room down to nothing and started painting.

We painted the walls, trim, shelves, closet and desk baskets.  We made a valance, drapes, bedskirt, pillow cases, and pillows -- which doesn't seem like that much in a couple of sentences, but it definitely took a while to get through everything... Kyle's room is finally finished.

He loves it now.  He isn't all that thrilled with change, so the updating process wasn't a happy one for him -- but at least the end result is! Delaney was impatiently waiting her turn, so she was ecstatic when it was finally her turn.  Now it was her room tore down to nothing ready to paint.

She couldn't WAIT to say good-bye to her purple butterfly-covered walls.  [While I, as their mother, felt like we were slowly painting away our kids' childhood in these room remodels! :-( ]  She upgraded to a queen-sized bed, had her walls, trim, and some furniture painted as well as purchased a bedding set with matching valances and drapes.  We also made her some pillow cases and pillows to go with her new room.  It was again, quite the process, and basically seemed to suck up any extra time we had.  But... Dee's room is finally finished now too.

Whew!  So happy that this is behind us, as the only family member who actually enjoyed the process was Loki.  He thoroughly loved the entire process, all the new things to check out and explore and the drop clothes were so much fun to play with.

During this ever-so-fun remodel process, everything else was still going on.  Just because Dee's CP soccer season was over, doesn't meant that SOCCER is over.  Soccer season never really ends, as she went straight into practices with her Three Lions United team.  She had to get ready for two tournaments coming up soon: one on Halloween weekend and the other in the middle of November.  But instead of practices almost daily, now they are down to a couple of times a week (usually).  Their first tournament over Halloween was in St. Louis.  Delaney got the rather dubious honor of driving there.  Kenny put on a costume and away they went (poor Dee).

They played extremely well for their first time together in a while.  Winning all three games, Delaney scored a goal and assist in the first, a goal in the second, and both goals in the last game.  Their second tournament was in Indianapolis, and they had a rougher time.  Their first game was a 1-5 loss (Dee got the only goal), then a 1-2 loss (Dee's shot hit the post, bounced around, and Miller put it in), with a victory at the end 1-0.  The weather was extremely cold and snowy too; Kenny was all bundled up watching! 

And that beard... ugh!  I am overjoyed to report that it has been removed.


It is so hard to believe that Thanksgiving has already come and gone!?!  Seriously, where does the time go?  We had celebrations with both sides of the family.  We enjoyed a yummy meal the weekend before with Danielle's family, so Danah's boys could be there.  Then Delaney snapped this picture on our way to yet another Thanksgiving meal for Kenny's side of the family.

It was now officially time to get ready for Christmas, believe it or not.  We did a quick cleaning, then got out all the holiday decorations.  The process itself is slightly painful, but the decorations all finished up helps you get in the holiday spirit.

We even found Loki's Christmas hat from last year, that was too big to fit him last season -- so we just gently laid it on his head when he was napping for a photo shoot.  Look how little he was!!!

So Delaney wanted to get a picture of him in it this year.  The expression of utter disdain on his face the entire time she was trying to get the hat on him was priceless.  Needless to say, we never did get a good photo -- maybe we'll have to try the nap photo again later.

The kids posed for a nice picture though, all decked out in their holiday clothes.  Delaney cried foul though, as Kyle's hat made him appear to be slightly taller (it is an illusion folks, although it is getting QUITE close).

And someone snapped this picture of Loki.  We decided that this is the caption, "I didn't try to bite or play with it, honest!  You can leave it here, we're fine."

Ta-dah!  House is all ready for the holidays!!!


Unfortunately, Loki has been having a little too much fun with the ornaments.  We wake up each morning to assess the carnage from the night before and put everything back.  He thinks the tree is his personal playground.

We also enjoyed some fun movie time here and there during our cleaning/decorating.  We watched Transformers: Age of Extinction, Maleficent, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Giver.  I also just read As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes about one of my all-time favorite movies and enjoyed it so much... that we rewatched The Princess Bride for the umpteenth time too! 

Unfortunately, it feels like now all our free time is sucked up by preparing for the upcoming holiday season.  Usually, we have a lot more ready by now.  But since we've been involved getting the house back to normal with all the remodeling, we are playing catch up.  It's always something, right?

We'll leave you with an adorable picture of our fur baby.

Ken, Dani, Dee & Kyle


Saturday, August 30, 2014

School, Soccer and More is in Full Swing!

Watch out everyone!  Delaney has her driving permit.  :-)  It is so hard to believe that she is old enough to learn to drive.  LOL  Now she just has to get a lot of practice and log all her hours, before the big final test.

Delaney's CP soccer team is in full swing.  Between school and soccer, she's extremely busy.  They've had 5 games so far.  They played Lake Central, 1-2 loss; Highland, a 2-1 win; Portage, a 3-0 win; Lowell, a 2-1 win; and Culver, a 3-0 win.  The team is coming together and playing well.  Delaney even got a few pics taken by Jim Karczewski for the Sun-Times.



And since she scored both goals at the Highland game, she was picked for the Athlete of the Week:

Also when they played Lowell, the Varsity team (who was nominated by their coach), did the Ice Bucket challenge and then subsequently challenged the Lowell varsity team as well:

We also had Danielle's dad over to celebrate his birthday.  We had a Mexican feast (yummy!), and we made him his favorite German Chocolate cupcakes.  I think we all ate too much, but it was very good. 

Kyle is doing well and adjusting to middle school.  It's a definite change from grade school, but he seems to be adapting okay.  They also give them so much time to read for AR (which is great), but Kyle reads so quickly that he's going through a book or sometimes two a day!  We've had to make sure he has a stack of books available at all times.  

Can you believe that it is almost September!  YIKES!!!

Ken, Dani, Dee & Kyle

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Where Did the Summer Go?

I can't believe that our last posting was back in June!!!  I guess we've been enjoying our summer too much to remember to put a family post up.  Delaney has been having a soccer-filled summer.  She  attended a couple of college soccer camps this summer at Valparaiso University and IUPUI.  She really enjoyed it and is hoping to attend even more next summer.

She has also been working hard with her Crown Point team already.  She even helped out one week at CP Girls Kiddie Camp, which was a soccer camp for younger girls.  This was her first year helping out, and she had 6 girls she was personally working with.  She found the combination of practices and working with a group of young girls exhausting!  She's already had several scrimmages with the team and has officially made Varsity again.

They had a picture day and Delaney made this collage:
Right now, they are up to Monday through Saturday practices and her first game is before school even starts (and the second is the first day of school).  So much for the rest of her summer!

Kenny had a conference to attend in Atlanta from June 26 through July 2.  The ISTE Conference had about 20,000 educators all talking about Technology.  Kenny was in Heaven!  He brought back a lot of great information for Hammond.  He also got to visit CNN Headquarters, Olympic Park, and visit the Atlanta Aquarium. 

We had a nice July 4th here at the house, spending it with Danielle's parents and grandma.  We had a cookout, played games, and enjoyed the unseasonably cool summer weather.  Kenny and the kids also enjoyed some fireworks.  Kenny filmed this finale:

And they took this selfie together:

Kenny also got to hang out with some good buddies that he's been friends with since grade school.  It was really nice for all three of them to get together and hang out a while.

Then it was time to celebrate our nephew Michael's 8th birthday!  It is hard to believe that he is already eight years old.  He is a bit of a LEGO fanatic, and this birthday didn't disappoint -- especially with the recently released LEGO movie -- he excitedly received several new sets that were played with that very same day.

Kenny and Kyle took off for a father/son weekend up in Michigan, hanging out with some friends on the beach.  They had a great time, even though the water was a wee bit chilly -- they still enjoyed their beach time.

Dee had some soccer obligations, so she and I stayed home.  We had a really nice testosterone free weekend. HA! 

The very next weekend my friend RuthAnn came up for a relaxing weekend for us!  She came up sans kids, and I had Kenny and the kids go stay elsewhere.  :-)  They spent the first evening at Danah's house, then went to Kenny's parents.  We had a very nice kids-free, craft weekend.  The only kid that had to stay was our furry baby Loki.  Not being a particular kitty person, RuthAnn tolerated him.  I even caught her and Loki exchanging an eskimo kiss on the stairs:

Really, how can you not love this adorable face?

We had to register the kids for school.  They already have their schedules and supply lists, and it is getting all too close to start time.  It is still hard to believe that we not only have a kid in high school, but we also have one in middle school now too!  Next Thursday we start back up our rigid schedules again.  UGH, definitely not looking forward to that.  However, after some sibling bickering issues, I may be a little bit less upset than they are:

Kenny's technology department at his work had a little "before school starts" Tech Party of their own.  They met at Zig-E's Funland in Saint John, IN.  Delaney and Kyle met up there with him, and they all had a blast.  There was miniature golfing, lazer tag, and more.

It's been a busy few weeks for Kenny, as he also attended the OLPH reunion and went to a Chicago Fire game with some buddies.   

I am getting ready for a CTMH Open House this Saturday, and the kids are frantically trying to enjoy the last few days before school.  Maybe that's why it has been so long since our last post, because it seems as if there is always something going on!  :-)

Ken, Dani, Dee & Kyle

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Summertime!  It didn't seem like it would ever get here, and it is ever so lovely now that it is here.

Our last post was before school was out, so we have some end of school stuff to go over.  Kyle had a quite enjoyable ending to his last year in grade school.  He had a lot of fun end of school year events: a lunch at House of Kobe (for all those with AR points over 300), a Hoosier party to celebrate those who read all the Hoosier books, Double Points Doughnuts Day for those who achieved double their AR points, a picnic to celebrate the end of the school year (which had to be inside due to the weather), a miniature golf fun night for the 5th grade, and a 5th grade luncheon where they dressed up and had a nice meal and received their class awards.  Kyle brought home a lot of awards, especially for his reading!  He earned 1521.8 AR points, the most ever at Solon (and the entire district apparently), and he was voted "most likely to succeed" by his classmates.  It seemed like every other day he was having a party or event or something. While Delaney's end of school year experiences consisted of lots and lots of studying for finals.

Their House of Kobe trip, they took an extended limo:

Delaney did have a positive event in the midst of all her not-so-fun studying.  She achieved the most goals for the season with her Three Lions team. Way to go, Dee!

The last day of school went all the way to Tuesday, June 10th due to all our snow days. 

After 10 years straight, we no longer have a child in grade school.  It's hard to believe that we are the parents of a child in high school and one in middle school... maybe even just a tad sad.

The last day of school was also the start of try-outs for the new Three Lions United team.  Delaney's Three Lions team combined with two other premier clubs in the area: NWI United FC and Indiana Magic.  It will be exciting to see what happens with the next season.

Immediately after the end of school, Delaney did get to have some down time.  She went to Michigan with a friend and her family and had a really nice time. I think that helped make up for all the fun events that Kyle had at the end of the school while she was studying.  :-)

We celebrated Father's Day out at my sister's house.  Unfortunately, it wasn't QUITE warm enough to go swimming (only Kyle braved the pool), but we did get to play some bean bag toss, lawn golf, and even some croquet!

The best, at least to Delaney and me (besides spending time with our dads of course), was that we got to play with Danah's five adorable black kittens!  The little buggers are exactly alike, so we never did figure out how to tell them apart.  But they are sooooo cute.  Anyone need a baby kitty?

Delaney's Crown Point soccer has already started up, she has her early morning practices and this week she is helping out with the soccer camp for the younger kids.  Kyle had his theater camp last week, and hopefully we are settling down to our routine of not really having too much of a routine in the summertime.  :-)

And this last Sunday evening, we went out to eat at Catch 22 in Merrillville and watched the World Cup game with USA vs Portugal on the big screen.  Delaney and Kenny were all decked out to support the US:

With the quick goal from Portugal in the first few minutes, the beginning could have been better, and at half-time we were still 0-1.  But we did finally answer the goal in the second half, tying it up 1-1 with a goal by Jones.  So exciting, now we have a game!  Then we got another one by Dempsey, basically bouncing off his chest into the net giving the US a 2-1 lead.  It seemed like the entire restaurant was chanting, "USA, USA" for each goal earned!  Then the game was almost over, we were in overtime and getting ready to leave the restaurant when in the overtime minutes, the US let Portugal sneak another one in giving a final score of 2-2.  Shocking!  It's definitely great to not have a loss, but so disappointing to end in a tie like that right at the very end.

Ken, Dani, Dee & Kyle