Thursday, November 26, 2015

Busy, Tired and Frankly Tired of Being Busy!

I am really starting to hate the word "busy," and I have been diligently trying to work on getting rid of as much busy as I can... but with kids' schedules, work schedules, home/vehicle maintenance, basically you name it... there is only so much that you can eliminate.  Ugh!

©The Strempka Gallery

©The Strempka Gallery

Our last post left off with Delaney in mid-season with her Crown Point High School team.  They had a pretty decent season, but didn't accomplish all their goals -- especially losing sectional this year.  Delaney had some great game winning goals in the Chesterton game and the Sectional opener against Merrillville.  Kenny was able to get some videos:

Even with hectic soccer schedules, a girl still gets to dress up and go to Homecoming.  She braided her own hair too; even soccer girls like to play dress up once in a while!

Dee and Phoenix, Homecoming 2015

Kyle has been continuing with his guitar lessons.  Kyle's guitar teacher wanted him to compose his own song.  So, over the past few months, Kyle had his first song completed (with some help from his teacher).  How cool is that?  Check it out:

And Kyle is still growing (much to Delaney's dismay, as he is already taller than she is).  While she has been told that she is basically done growing, the podiatrist said that Kyle has a lot of room on his growth plate to go.  He's having some growing pains.  He has some stretching exercises to do, new inserts for his shoes, and a brand new shoe size.  He's now a size 10 -- bigger than his Dad now.

Halloween!  Kyle ended up going out in the rain and trick-or-treating with his friends.  He went as Agent Phil Coulson from the Avengers.  When people asked him who he was, he responded with, "I'm sorry, that's classified!"  He also had business cards to hand out to potential heroes inviting them to join the Avengers Initiative.  And, of course, afterwards there was the very intense candy trade!!!


Delaney didn't go trick-or-treating, but she did get dressed up to go help out at a Halloween party at school. She was a spider-vampire lady of some sort.  :-)

It's hard to believe that her junior year of soccer is officially over!  The Sports Awards night was held last week.  Delaney was presented with a few different awards: DAC All Conference Team, Academic All-State, NWI Times All-Area Team Honorable Mention and Post-Tribune All-Area Team Honorable Mention.  Senior year, here she comes!

Once CP soccer ended, it was Three Lions time for a bit.  The team had a College Showcase to attend on November 6th and 7th.  They had a few weeks of practice and some good games down in Indy.  After that weekend, she was benched.  She has some injuries to attend to -- some mid-season injuries to her knees and ankles.  She is in therapy; resting and stretching are the best thing she can do right now.  Hopefully she'll be good to go again when winter training starts back up again.  She has been in contact with various college coaches and is planning some college visits and some campus ID events.

And we've had our first snowfall!  It wasn't just a dusting; we had about 6 inches total.  Crazy!  So not ready for winter.  Can we just skip to the warm weather again?  :-)

Now we get to get ready for the holiday hoopla!

Ken, Dani, Dee & Kyle

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

We Are Definitely Back into the Swing of School and Soccer!


Delaney has been quite busy with her Crown Point soccer team.  They're currently at 4 wins, 2 losses.  Their LC game was stopped after lightning, 1-1.  Since it was a conference game, they had to reschedule the last 20 minutes.  After two overtimes with a still 0-0 score, they went into penalty kicks.  Unfortunately they lost 1-2 after the PK's.  Their Highland game was a win at 2-1, Delaney got the winning goal at the 75th minute.

Next they had their first away game at Portage, giving them another win 4-0.  With another away game at Lowell, giving them a 1-0 win.  It was a rough game, but Delaney managed to sneak a goal in after a great assist.  Their second loss was away at South Bend Saint Joe, always a difficult game 0-4.    Then they trounced LaPorte with a 8-0 win.  And weather continues to be an issue!  Their Culver Military game was cancelled due to lightning, and today's Chesterton game was delayed today due to heavy rain/stormy weather as well.  Can't wait to see how the rest of their season goes...

My sister had a fun family pool party with outdoor movie night.  It wasn't quite as warm as everyone would have liked, but the kids seemed to have no problem hanging out in the pool anyway.  Delaney and Parker just lounging about.

And the party was finished off with a great outdoor movie night watching Guardians of the Galaxy.

Delaney had her normal Saturday practice cancelled, so she decided to go watch her cousins at the Cross Country meet.  They are "runners to watch" -- exciting!

Believe it or not, this year is our 20th Wedding Anniversary.  Crazy, right?  Kenny planned us a week away in Florida over our anniversary, and since we had our honeymoon at Disney -- we even had a day at Epcot on our actual anniversary.  Other than our day at Disney, we hung out at the pool, slept in, played some mini-golf and just relaxed.  It was AWESOME and went by so fast!



Even though hurricane Erica was giving us a bit of a scare for our week off, we ended up having some lovely weather.  We spent several days just hanging out at the pool.  I was able to do a lot of reading, while Kenny was getting through a lot of computer stuff.  After a delightful day lounging about, then we'd go out for a yummy evening meal.

Then on our actual anniversary, we headed out to Disney and spent the day at Epcot.  Kenny even had us each get Anniversary buttons that we wore all day, and we were constantly getting congratulations all day from everyone.  We rode several rides then headed over to the Polynesian for a delicious lunch since we stayed there for our honeymoon. 


We even got our picture taken with Mickey, who just happened to have Goofy there with him.  And Goofy was SO excited that Kenny was wearing a Goofy shirt!!!  In the evening, Kenny had a reservation at Mexico for a scrumptious dinner.




And last, but certainly not least, we caught the fireworks before heading back to our hotel. AWESOME DAY!

Hard to believe that it has been 20 years since we were married.


And back to reality...

Ken & Dani

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Yikes, guess I failed on the more timely posts thing.  My only excuse is summertime!  We've been loving the warm weather, no homework and fly-by-the-seat of your pants scheduling -- basically loving our lazy summer days.  So not ready to think about school:

Delaney always had to add soccer events messing up our summertime with her never-ending soccer. :-)  She's been attending several soccer college camps throughout the summer, as well as her Crown Point High School team practices throughout the summertime.  They just switched to Monday-Saturday practices this week, so the intensity just went up a notch too.  One bonus is Delaney got her license!  She's been driving herself to and from those early morning practices.  Can't beat that!!!

Going back a bit, Kyle FINALLY got to celebrate his 12th birthday with a video game party sleepover with some buddies.  We had to put off celebrating to the beginning of May, due to scheduling issues.  He had a blast!

Kyle also did very well finishing up his sixth grade year.  He was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society.

And he also was recognized at Taft's Awards night.  He followed in his sister's footsteps and won the Jon Millstead Award for Reading Achievement.  He got the last place on the plaque, just below Delaney's name!  Great job, Kyle!

While it seemed it would never get here, school finally came to a close.  Delaney successfully made it through her sophomore year while Kyle survived his first year of middle school.

It seems like they are growing up so fast!  And speaking of growing, at their last well-check visit -- Kyle has grown taller than his older sister.  He was officially measured an inch taller; she is none too pleased.

On June 1st, we celebrated the 5th worldwide LAM Awareness day.   Back on February 13, 2012, I started taking a medication from the first-ever LAM trial.  That medicine has dramatically slowed my decline in lung function.  Without it, I'm sure that my lung capacity would have just been steadily decreasing these last few years.  It has brought hope to our family!  I can't even begin to thank everyone for participating and contributing to the LAM Foundation making such medications and new treatments available!

This summer, in between all her soccer events, Delaney found the time to keep up her weight lifting, take the SAT, take a few photography classes, and even have her wisdom teeth removed.  She's definitely stretching the definition of our lazy summer days.

While Kyle has been a bit more laid-back with his scheduling, focusing on playing video games online with his buddies, reading and playing his guitar.  Both he and I have been thoroughly enjoying our time to read, many times we have easily gone through a book a day!

Kenny also won two tickets to the first-ever Windy City LakeShake: Chicago's 3-Day Country Music Festival on June 19th-21st.  He not only won tickets, but he won Grandstand seated tickets.  We reveled in some fabulous country music and kids' free time.  It was fantastic!  :-)



Delaney and Ken were able to make it to a Chicago Fire game, which they enjoyed immensely even though the Fire lost.

Then somehow it was July 4th!  We invited Papa and Dinah Grandma over for food and games, and we had a great time.  And Kenny and the kids went to the fairgrounds to enjoy fireworks:

 Kenny got this great video of the finale:

And I think we're pretty much caught up!  Here's to immersing ourselves into what is left of our summer!!!

Ken, Dani, Dee & Kyle


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kyle's 12th Birthday, LAMposium, and Spring Break!

It seems like there is always something going on at the Benich household. Try as I might, I never seem to keep up with more timely posts.

Somehow, our baby boy is now twelve years old.  (Next year will certainly be interesting, surviving in a household with two teenagers... yikes!)  He decided for a repeat with a request for monkey bread for his cake again.

His grandparents got his some great birthday gifts.  From Grandma Kathe and Grandpa Babe, he got an awesome leather jacket which he loves.

And from Papa and Dinah Grandma he got a hard-shell guitar case, which he has been wanting for quite a while.

We got him a couple of new songbooks, and the new LEGO Batman 3 game.  Unfortunately, free weekends are few and far between -- so his video game sleepover with his buddies for his birthday will have to come later.

Let's here it for some new songs!

Delaney has been super busy with school, soccer, visiting colleges and lifting.  Here is a video of her lifting for a Personal Record:

This year's LAMposium was in Chicago again and actually started on Kyle's birthday.  Kenny left to help thoughout the entire event, while the kids and I didn't head up to Chicago until later.

We had to get through the remainder of the week, especially Delaney's fun midterms!  Ugh!  But, it was soooo nice to make it through Friday.  We finally got a good night's rest that evening, then left Saturday around lunchtime to have time to help set up and attend the LAM gala that evening.  Many friends and family met up with us there, here is a group shot:

Delaney's friend Sam was able to come with again and help out for the second year in a row.  They do have clothes that aren't only soccer-related.  But while attempting to take a picture, they got photo bombed by Uncle Ed.

 They didn't let that stop them though.  They dress up nice, don't they!  :-)

Everyone had a great time!!!





We wanted to say thank you again for your support of our family and the LAM Foundation.  At the LAMposium Conference, there were over 100 scientists, clinicians and doctors gathered together to talk about the research being done and to talk with over 150 patients and family members.  At the Breath of Hope Gala over $200,000 was raised to help find better treatments and a cure.  We were the top raffle sellers once again this year - due to all your support!  We did have a raffle prize winner - a second place vacation package went to the Elo Family.  We appreciate all you do.

Afterwards, we came home a nice week off from school for Spring Break.  The kids and I definitely needed some down time.  We enjoyed some sleeping in, laid back days and thoroughly reveled in not having a schedule to follow.  Believe it or not, the kids actually get a long once in a while too.  Here they are playing a Kinect Dance game:

Then we had a mini-vacation away at a friend's house in St. Joseph, Michigan.

Delaney has been experimenting with braiding her hair, and she even did my hair.  I've been letting it grow out and the in between stages are... well, let's just say annoying.

We had a wonderful time relaxing out away from home.  We played a lot of games, I read several books, and we watched some movies too.  Sometimes it seems like we never have time to just chill out.  Delaney has been having a great time with her photo journalism class, and she is really enjoying taking photos lately.  While Kenny and the kids were out walking, she took a bunch of pictures (she even contributed several photos to the blog today).







She's doing a great job, isn't she?  Maybe we can take over all the official photography duties!  Woo-hoo!

I think Loki was more than a little lonely while we were gone, and he was super attentive and such a little purr-baby for a few days.  At least he wasn't like this:

I wish he didn't have such an over-developed stranger-danger sense.  Our neighbor was helping us out with him, and she said she he is so cute she wanted to pet him -- but he was having NONE of it.  (* sigh *)

I think next time he just wants to come with us.  Here he was when were packing:

He's so funny!  Enjoy!

~Ken, Dani, Dee & Kyle